What are you willing to sacrifice?
Hey, Gang! Hope everyone thanked their mothers and had a good holiday weekend. This week we have another tale of when writing goes wrong.
This story doesn’t involve a big screen multi-million dollar opportunity like what I wrote about last week. This one involves someone more at my level of writing. The star of our story is Lauren, someone I met a few months ago when looking for help in my writing pursuits. Lauren is largely at the point where I wanted to be, especially after coming off a really bad job with a boss that I grew to dislike. Lauren works for a big time anime review site and is also a published author. She offers up tips and ideas for writers like me to bring in more money and be successful in their attempts at a job in putting words down on paper or a computer screen.
One of Lauren’s accomplishments was a book she put together on cosplay. It wasn’t a smash Harry Potter level hit, but it wasn’t meant to be. It sold well, she got paid her money, and all was well. It was something she put together and a lot of people got to see it and bought it. She is proud of it, as she should be.
Her publishing company thought it did well too. They decided that another cosplay book should be made and sold as a sequel if you want to call it that.
Lauren isn’t writing it.
That is where the lesson to me and other aspiring writers come in. See, unfortunately, the deal she had with the publisher of her book she put a lot of work in had Lauren sign over all rights to the book over to them. The Publisher can do whatever they want with her book now. Republish it, expand it’s distribution, do whatever they want, including writing another book with a different author.
To her credit, Lauren is taking this in stride. She posted that while it sucks, she was starting out as a writer and she signed the deal. She learned from the experience and now so are we. Got to admit, I’d not be so chill about it. But even so, there is nothing that can be done.
I’m not sure if this is a “hard” lesson or message, but more a cautionary tail. If you are a writer like I am that wants to make a living off their work, know what you are getting into when you deal with a publisher. Especially for new writers working to get their first work published by a mainstream publisher. You have the decision to make under that circumstance. Is getting your foot in the door worth losing all control (and money) of your work and creation? That’s totally up to you and nothing me or anyone says can make that choice for you. I know I’d not give up full rights to my novel or my kRaven series of stories up for that, but I wouldn’t mind giving up rights to a one-off or something similar. Sometimes there are big choices and big sacrifices to be made to get to the next level. A lot of the big creative minds have gone through the same ordeal.
This lesson isn’t so much a yes or a no answer really. It’s more of an advisory to really think about your work and what would you be willing to sacrifice to get ahead, and the idea of if you could live with the decision forever more. It also gives you an opportunity to think so that when you do get to that point, and ALL of you are capable of getting there, you will have made up your mind and decided where you want to go.
So if you are a writer or content producer, or looking to become one, give it some thought and hopefully your ride will be a smooth one.
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and remember, I’m a candidate for President of the United States in 2016!