Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Writer Beware: Seven “Danger Zones” Of A Literary Agent Contract from Writer's Relief

This article has been reprinted with the permission of Writer’s Relief, an author’s submission service that has been helping creative writers make submissions since 1994. Their work is highly recommended in the writing community, and there are TONS of freebies, publishing leads, and writers resources on their website. Check it out!

It’s happened—a literary agency contract! Some writers who are offered an agreement from a literary agencysimply sign on the dotted line without fully understanding what’s at stake. Maybe they have an implicit trust in their future literary agency. Or maybe they’re so excited and overcome by emotion, they’re not thinking clearly.


But before you sign a contract with a literary agent, here are few potential trouble spots you need to watch out for.

Writer Beware: Seven “Danger Zones” Of A Literary Agent Contract

1. Representation: What exactly will your literary agent represent? Some literary agents will demand the right to represent absolutely everything that you write, from shopping lists to epic novels. Other literary agents will ask to represent one particular genre of book (such as “full-length science-fiction novels”). Whatever the case, make sure you understand exactly what your agent is asking to represent.
2. Termination: Is the termination clause clear and pro-writer? The termination clause should protect you: You should not have to “show cause” if you want to sever your relationship with your agent. Be certain that you understand the process for terminating your agreement before you sign.
3. Up-front fees: What will you be asked to pay for? Watch for red flags. If a literary agent wants to charge you a “signing fee” or asks for a sum of money up front to cover the cost of postage and phone calls—don’t sign anything until you’ve done more research about the agent in question. Talk to other writers. Look online to see if the agent has brokered any significant book deals in the last few months. Good literary agents do not charge signing fees, reading fees, or editorial fees. Bad literary agents do.
4. Commission: Are the rates crystal clear? Do you understand what percentage of sales your agent will claim as commission? Keep in mind that if you do sell your book, you might also sell subsidiary rights (like the right to adapt your book into a movie). Be sure that you understand what kind of commission your literary agent will take and what kind of commission any partner agencies may claim.
5. Payment: How soon will you receive your money? Most literary agencies act as trustees for their clients. Instead of paying you directly, a publisher will pay your literary agent—who will then cut you a check (minus commission). Your literary agent contract should state how quickly you can expect your money after your literary agency has received it.
6. Accounting: Will you receive all the necessary reports and forms? Your literary agent should send you the proper tax forms every year and should also, upon request, provide you with a list of expenses incurred on your behalf (especially if they are charging you for things like postage and phone calls).
7. Time frame: Is the agent asking for perpetual representation? Some literary agents will ask for the right to permanently represent a book—as opposed to asking for the right to represent it only for the duration of your publishing contract or your partnership with the agency. Do not grant a right of perpetual representation.
Your literary agent should be your advocate. If negotiating a contract with your literary agent feels uncomfortable or if you get the sense that your agent is not communicating with you accurately and fairly, it may be time to heed the warning signs and head in a different direction.
Remember: Don’t be afraid of negotiating or asking questions about your literary agency contract. You’ll thank yourself later!
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Also want to add a comment from author Kim Headlee that is worth consideration as well~Patricia

The other aspect is: does the agent run "author coach" and/or publishing side business? My now ex-agent started doing both of those things about 10 years after he had signed me as a client, and in retrospect, that became the beginning of the end of our business relationship. It got to where he was more interested in getting existing clients to sign up for his publishing contracts, because that represented more income for him regardless of whether it was helping the client any (in most cases, it wasn't). He & I parted ways over this sort point, and I've done independent publishing ever since.

Monday, February 16, 2015

To Save A Lady: Elise's Favorite: Creole Pecan Praline #Recipe & Book Sale!

My heroine, Elise, in To Save a Lady, loves pralines. From Paris, she is a stranger to the French Quarter and life has not been easy since her arrival in Louisiana. During her stay in the city, she develops a love for pralines. 

Pralines were originally made in France with almonds, but due to a shortage of almonds in Louisiana, pecans were substituted. Early pralines were also made using molasses and cream along with sugar and pecans.   


Also here is a copy of a recipe for pralines made with molasses from www.cooks.com


JUANITA'S ORIGINAL CREOLE PECAN
PRALINES

2 lbs. cane sugar
1 lb. shelled pecans
3 tbsp. molasses
1 oz. pure vanilla
1 c. water
1 candy thermometer
Wax paper
Lg. spoon
Table knife

Put sugar, water, molasses in 6 quart saucepan, stir on high heat, bring to boil and cook until 240 degrees (soft ball). Shut heat, put in pecans and vanilla. IMPORTANT: Rub some of liquid on inside pan until creamy, about 1 minutes. Do this 3 times and scrape back into liquid with knife. You are ready to pour.Put wax paper about 3 feet long (2) over newspaper on table. Dip out silver dollar size pralines until empty. Makes about 4 dozen. Let cool and peel from wax paper.




In To Save a Lady,  the hero, Jesse, buys some to tempt Elise into having dinner with him.

Here's an excerpt of the scene beginning with Elise:

"My duty as a messenger has ended. The gentleman I represent is unwilling to take further risk.”
“Good,” Jesse said. As far as he was concerned, it had never been necessary to put a woman at risk. He set aside his glass and told her about Agent Peter Banes. “He was after you, and I apologize that I almost failed you.”
“That is unnecessary. You did not fail me or your country.” The breeze whipped the hood of the cloak against her face. “I will keep you in my prayers, and I hope your army is victorious.”
He wished he knew of some charming remark to say that would bring her rushing across the threshold and into his arms. But he had never been good at that sort of thing. Not like Bonnard. He hadn’t been born with an innate charm.
“I’d like for you to stay and join me for dinner.” Either straightforward worked or it didn’t. “The wine is very good, and the bread is fresh. I also have your favorite. Pralines.”
“Oh! Pralines,” she gasped with delight. “In that case, I must stay.”
She flew across the threshold, and his jaw dropped.
“I certainly can’t eat all this myself.” He snatched the linen covering off the dish and revealed four confections that carried the rich scent of pecans and molasses. Now, all he had to do was figure out how to become as irresistible as a praline.
“And I brought some fruit.” He uncovered an apple and grapes. “A German merchant had smoked venison. He let me taste a sample and it is delicious. I have plenty of butter for the bread.”
She let out a long sigh of delight. All he could see within the confines of her deep hood was the sparkle of the mask she wore. She touched the white tablecloth. “This is so thoughtful of you.”
“Shall we try the bread?” He reached for the knife, his heart slamming against his chest.

You can get a copy of To Save a Lady on sale for 99 cents from 2/16-2/20/15   http://amzn.to/1tz2HIq



Sunday, February 15, 2015

Join the Fun, #Free Books, & Giveaways on Rae Renzi's FB party!

Has the winter storm got you trapped inside? Looking for something to do? Join the Facebook party for Rae Renzi's new release: Dearly Departed Dating Service!

There's a host of authors participating. Including me! Everyone has goodies to give away and the party starts at 10 am CST and goes to 10 pm. So you can drop by any time!

I will be there from 1 pm to 1:30 doing my thing and having a nervous breakdown trying to reload every 5 seconds. Anybody whose done one of these things knows what I mean!

Leave a comment on my post to be entered in my contest. I will be giving away a pretty little fleur de lis charm as a grand prize and a free copy of my historical romance, To Save a Lady, to three winners.

Here's the link: You can go there now and join. Plus we're posting what we're going to wear to the party among other things like men...

https://www.facebook.com/events/943403239010995


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy #Valentine’sDay! My Gift to You: Free Short Story

Happy Valentine's Day! The one day devoted to romance is here and I'm wishing you a wonderful romantic day. Of course, Valentine's Day can be about any kind of love. The love between parents and children, owners and pets, and good friends. It can be a day to celebrate what caring for other people and the world really means. A day to reach out and let your friends and family know they are a special part of your life. Send out a few texts or email cards. It won't take but a minute to brighten someone's Valentine's Day. 

You can even send them a free copy of my short story, "Delivering Love Today" and grab a copy for yourself. It's a quick read of about 15-20 minutes. 

Behind the wheel of a florist van, Kelly is making Valentine deliveries when a handsome cowboy disrupts her schedule. Will he become her Valentine? 

Free this weekend on Amazon.