Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Love/Hate Wednesday


Researching new editors and putting together submission lists!

It's kind of like acceptable stalking. Although of course I already have quite a few connections, I always like to reach out to new editors and double check recent sales, current bios and even twitter feeds while finalizing a submission list.

I'm sure writers do it to me - and they should! Tastes do shift over time, particularly with the market winds, and even if you have a list of agents together already that you may have cobbled together from a writing website like, check out their bios (recent conferences attended will likely list a recent bio), their sales, their blogs, twitters, pinterest accounts, etc etc to get a feel for what types of things they usually say "yes" to. Targeting specific interests vs. vague descriptions (such as, an agent who likes "historical" may really only like "post-1800 historical") will always serve you better.



I hate shifty little clauses in contracts that are purposefully so clouded in legalese you need a magical translation unicorn to decipher them. A contract doesn't have to be indecipherable to be legal, though sometimes, language is very carefully chosen to be vague, to leave room for interpretation.

My advice for anyone out there sifting through a contract on your own (this could be a publishing contract, an agency agreement, etc): if there's something you don't understand, absolutely have it clarified or ask, "can you give me an example of this?" The very last thing you want is to be locked into something you don't know you're locked into!!


  1. Natalie,

    You might ask these publishers to revise their contract templates to get with the plain English times.

    Or Google "plain language" for more resources.


    PS: I want a magical translation unicorn!