Mistake 60: Taking Any Deal

Author:
Publish date:

70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes by Bob Mayer, from The Writer's Digest Writing Kit

Why this is a mistake: This is such a hard and crazy business that writers tend to take any deal a publisher offers. This is akin to taking the first marriage proposal you receive from the first stranger you meet. You wouldn’t do it in your personal life, and you shouldn’t do it in your professional life. And you know the “til death do you part” thing? That’s what it feels like sometimes. Novice writers don’t understand that a bad deal is much worse than no deal. When you sign a contract, you are locked in. I know best-selling authors who have the yoke of a bad contract signed decades earlier still haunting them.

Image placeholder title

The solution: This is where it’s helpful to have an agent. But if you’re going it solo, remember to think long-term before you sign any deal. Don’t get greedy. Consider more than just the money. Consider a contract in terms of your career as a writer, even if you have no career to speak of at the time. Imagine that you do, and imagine what this contract will look like in ten years.

You do have a negotiating position. Many writers feel they don’t. They think that if they don’t sign the contract, the publisher will simply offer the contract to someone else. Perhaps the publisher will. Then just figure that some other author will be stuck with the bad contract. It’s a hard mindset to develop as a writer, but sooner or later, preferably sooner, you’ve got to start treating yourself with some respect, because if you don’t, no one else will. I’ve found this particularly true when dealing with Hollywood.

Poetic Forms

Rannaigecht Mor Gairit: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the rannaigecht mor gairit, a variant form of the rannaigecht.

Weinstein_1:21

The Writer, The Inner Critic, & The Slacker

Author and writing professor Alexander Weinstein explains the three parts of a writer's psyche, how they can work against the writer, and how to utilize them for success.

Stottlemyre_1:21

Todd Stottlemyre: On Mixing and Bending Genres

Author Todd Stottlemyre explains how he combined fiction and nonfiction in his latest book and what it meant as a writer to share his personal experiences.

plot_twist_story_prompts_take_a_trip_robert_lee_brewer

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Take a Trip

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character take a trip somewhere.

Probst_1:20

Making the Switch from Romance to Women’s Fiction

In this article, author Jennifer Probst explains the differences between romance and women's fiction, the importance of both, and how you can make the genre switch.

Wrobel_1:20

Stephanie Wrobel: On Writing an Unusual Hero

Author Stephanie Wrobel explains how she came to write about mental illness and how it affects familial relationships, as well as getting inside the head of an unusual character.

who_are_the_inaugural_poets_for_united_states_presidents_robert_lee_brewer

Who Are the Inaugural Poets for United States Presidents?

Here is a list of the inaugural poets for United States Presidential Inauguration Days from Robert Frost to Amanda Gorman. This post also touches on who an inaugural poet is and which presidents have had them at their inaugurations.

precedent_vs_president_grammar_rules_robert_lee_brewer

Precedent vs. President (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use precedent vs. president with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 554

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a future poem.