On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Friday, January 06, 2006

Option Clause Part 3, Exclusivity and Fantasy Worlds (digression)

Image hosted by Photobucket.com This is my reading and understanding of the contract. Do NOT rely solely upon it. Contact an agent or an attorney.

Guess I should have put the disclaimer in before. ;) I've gone back and inserted it. I'm not a lawyer, I'm not an agent. I negotiated my first contact as well as I was able as a newbie in a niche genre by myself and with help from another, wonderfully informed publisher author -- Anne Avery, who essentially broke stuff down for me. She's not an attorney either. ;) However, despite the fact I have an agent, I always read my contracts and call her if I don't understand. We've gone over some.

Ok, so your publisher says they want your option book. Then you negotiate terms, including $$, the NEXT contract (including this clause), amount of author copies, other rights (I have all my film rights), etc. WHILE you are negotiating this, you aren't talking to other publishers about the same piece of work -- or for us fantasy folks, about something in the same world.

The wisest author I know with regard to this world thing is Jayne Ann Krentz (who I gushed at last night on the Berkley chat). She did three wonderful books, Amaryllis, Zinnia, and Orchid and could have (in my mind) explored that world for a long time. But she changed publishers. WHEN she changed publishers and wrote fantasy again, it was with a different set up.

If Berkley and I ever come to a parting of the ways, I'll be having a second "wave" of colonists from Earth settle the original planet that my current Celtans missed, change some details and off I go again...

We usually have a multitude of ideas. Keep them, write them down. If something doesn't work in this book or in this world, you have it for the next...

May your ideas be fresh and burgeoning today!
Robin (and yeah, I still have a line or two about the option paragraph to talk about -- see the last paragraph on the little page above? That's the option paragraph).


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