Friday, 24 June 2011
All Systems Are Go!
Yesterday I signed the contract for my latest book project, the one I told you about a while ago, that I have written as well as illustrated. Hurrah!
It's taken about a month to get it sorted, because there were various negotiations to be done, emailing backwards and forwards, sorting out the fine detail of the contract.
For anyone who has never seen one, picture book contracts are a nightmare, bursting at the seams with clauses and subclauses, percentages and rights, territories and timescales. I don't pretend to understand it all, that's why I am a member of the Society of Authors. They are brilliant, and essential for anyone who doesn't work through an agent. You can send them the proposed contract and, within a day or two, a specialist will have gone through it with a fine tooth-comb, ensuring it is fair and suggesting any changes that it would be wise to press for.
My hot tip for any new authors or illustrators, getting signed up for their first book: don't assume that, just because a contract looks all official and is in fancy, legal lingo, it's set in stone. You can ask for things to be changed: the worst that can happen is that they will say 'no, we want to leave it as it', but publishers are often more flexible than you would think.
I'm really glad all that hard-nose bit is done and dusted now though, and I'm looking forward to getting stuck into the roughs. I've done quite a lot of the drawing already, but have to turn my big planning sheets into something more precise and ordered, fitting the picture book length and format.
I'm not scheduled to begin yet though - not until late Autumn, when all my artwork for Baby Can... is finished.