How to keep your job

Happy Monday! Muse the Purrbot is curled up on my lap, and I’m content sipping my tea as the work day gets started.

I was thinking on something last night, and I’d love to hear your thoughts. It seems there’s a group of authors out there who think, once they put their name on the contract, their part is over. They can just relax, write the next book, and not worry about another thing. They’re with a publisher now, so their literary job is secure.

Um, hate to tell you guys this, but it’s not.

Those contracts (talking about decent contracts, not screw you over ones) have dates in them. Five years from the date of signature, three years from date of original upload, something. Which means, at the end of the contract, the publisher can elect to not renew it and let you have your rights back.

They do not have to keep your book up until you find something better.

A lot of things go into consideration before a renewal is offered. Does the author promote? Are they positive on social media? Are they cheering on their fellow authors? Do they complain in public or to their publisher about poor sales? Are they a major pain, expecting things done for them just because they want it? Are they aware of the cost and work a publishing house puts into their book, or do they think changing the cover should be ‘no big deal’?

It’s not always about how well a title sells.

What gets me is that writers work so hard at getting this job – and I do mean job – at a publishing house. They wrote the book, they got it peer edited, they polished it until it gleamed, and they researched the various houses that might be interested in their genre. Then, when they get the job, they slack off. And get upset when it’s not renewed.

Would you go into your day job and say, ‘hey, you hired me and I’m here but I’m not going to be bothered working today. I’m just going to sit here and complain that you’re not doing something for me.’? You’d get fired!

So, do yourself a favor. Remember this is a job, it’s work. Don’t forget that for a second. Work hard, and be patient. Nobody went from the mail room to the corner office overnight. The same holds true for authors.


2 thoughts on “How to keep your job

    • Don’t be demanding. Be pleasant, not rude. This is one of the few industries where nice guys really DO finish first. People in publishing don’t like to deal with divas, let alone a new author who is acting like one. You don’t want to burn a bridge you’ll need later in your career.

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