When a Book Contract Goes South

Agent finds blog.  Agent likes writer.  Writer likes agent.  Editor likes writer.  Writer, liking the size of the paycheck, agrees to work-for-hire contract.

Writer wears her butt, fingers and brain out researching and writing.   Editor can’t quite articulate the balance or tone desired in proposed book.   After three tries and much beating head against wall, editor and writer decide to call it quits.

Sigh.  Repeat sigh.

What’s left to do after two months of intense work?  Get on with life, I suppose.  To say I was disappointed is an understatement, and I gave up quite a lot to work on this project, but in the end we basically fired each other.  And I was so burned out the last week that I wasn’t sorry to see it go.

But . . . (there’s always a “but” isn’t there?) . . . somewhere along the way I had a revelation, one of those lovely shower-time thoughts.  The first chapter I had submitted missed the mark big time – I had been told Young Adult, which was wrong, and the book he gave me as an example turned out not to be the type of book they wanted written.  So . . . what was stopping me from taking that initial research that couldn’t be used, and writing my own e-book when I was done with the big one?  Hmm, nice idea.

And then when it all fell apart, well, that was my research and those were my words, and the publisher has no claim on them.  So what’s stopping me from doing my own book?  Or at least an e-book covering the topics that fascinated me?

NOTHING is stopping me!

Nothing except burn-out, anyway.  It’s taken me a couple of weeks to feel like working again, but I started rewriting my material last week.  And there’s even enough balance in my life right now that I’m finally reaching out to people again.  So be warned, all you blog and twitter and ROW80 followers – I may be easing into it, but I’m b-a-c-k!

And if you’re curious as to the topic of the aforementioned book contract (and future e-book), keep an eye out for upcoming blog posts once I figure out what to use as teasers!

ROW80:  I’m late to the party, but I will be joining in again.  Will post new goals next time.


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9 Responses to When a Book Contract Goes South

  1. Ginger Calem says:

    I’m so sorry about the book contract. It has to be hugely disappointing after all that research and effort. But, I love your attitude. Onward!!!
    Ginger Calem recently posted..WritersButt Wednesday — A Life-Changing Journey BeginsMy Profile

  2. Dahnya Och says:

    I’m so sorry you went through two months of that. Semicolon however comma it’s a great learning experience to have under your belt. And it isn’t like nothing came of it! You’ve got a great forward motion – make sure you use it.

    I wish you luck with the book project!
    Dahnya Och recently posted..The Week that Didn’t HappenMy Profile

  3. Julia Indigo says:

    You wrote above: “I had been told Young Adult, which was wrong, and the book he gave me as an example turned out not to be the type of book they wanted written.”

    Me: Um, yeah. It sounds like agent/editor need to put their heads together and figure out what it is they want before they dangle a contract in front of another writer. :\

    I’m so sorry you had that experience! Wretched! From what you’ve written above, it sounds like you are a great lemonade-maker. 🙂
    Julia Indigo recently posted..SurrenderMy Profile

  4. Wow, that has to be a major let down. catch your breath and write the book anyway. Good luck!
    Prudence MacLeod recently posted..Loose EndsMy Profile

  5. Hi -I came across your site through Penny Freeman (book blogs) and I love your post/news here. Good for you -writing what you want to write and going for self publishing. Best of luck but I should think with such a positive attitude you won’t need it. I’m in the middle of my first novel right now -there’s ups and downs but I’m still ploughing away.


  6. Jennifer Jensen says:

    Ginger, Dahnya, Julia, Pru & Suzy: Thanks so much for the comments. I don’t know that I’m such a “lemonade-maker” (I did, after all, spend a couple weeks in “I-don’t-feel-like-writing-land”), but I’m still fascinated by the topic. If I weren’t, I’d be blowing it off and chalking it up to experience. We’ll see how it goes.

    I did learn, however, that I much prefer writing on my own schedule rather than someone else’s. Or at least someone else’s when the whole book had to be done in three months! I won’t make that mistake again.

    Suzy, keep plugging away through your ups and downs, and it will get done. See, I can be a great cheerleader, too!

  7. Karmin says:

    This is definitely a big let down even for every person that can have this kind of situation.. I just hope everything will get better too..
    Karmin recently posted..Hosted SharepointMy Profile

  8. Debra eve says:

    My best friend is going through this right now, Jennifer. She’s on her sixth rewrite in three months and so burnt out. She says the YA is so specialized right now, it’s almost impossible to know what anyone wants. You’ve done so much work, and now it’s yours to do with as you please. Looking forward to hearing about it!
    Debra eve recently posted..The Secret Life of Late Bloomer Henri RousseauMy Profile