STATUS: Happily green—for St. Patty’s day and because I received contracts and money in today’s mail. It’s never a bad day when money comes!
What song is playing on the ipod right now? I WANT YOU by Marvin Gaye
One of the things that has been driving me crazy lately is the slow-down from publishers in getting new contracts out.
If I were into conspiracy theories, I might think there’s a new contract policy going on to thwart pesky agents and delay upon signing payments. But I’m not. And the reality is that the contracts are probably backlogged. It can still drive me nuts though. I did a deal near the end of November 2005 and the final signed contracts, I kid you not, just hit the buying editor’s desk this week.
Now, I made allowances for December. It’s the holidays after all. Everyone is off drinking eggnog—including the contracts people; I’m all for eggnog drinking and holiday cheer (as I did quite a bit of it myself).
So, I expect the contract in January. Mid-January comes. I start calling and emailing the editor every Monday like clockwork. Where’s the contract? Will I see it soon? I have not seen the contract. I really want to stop calling you every Monday but I can’t until I see the contract. Underlying message, yes, I will be politely annoying until, you got it, I see the contract.
I really felt for the editor though. She loves me but she really doesn’t want to talk to me every Monday. After all, her hands are tied. My contract is sitting on someone’s desk and it’s not like she can just pop down to his office, stick it in an envelope, and mail to me.
First round contracts come later in February. But the negotiation isn’t over. Now my contracts manager and I have to nitpick over the details. That will take a week or so. All is agreed on and final contracts will now be mailed out.
When did I receive final contracts to sign? First week in March. From start to finish? Little over three months.
I groan. I’ve just negotiated three other deals. I’m ready to brush off my delay conspiracy theory and get ready for a long, drawn out contracts process. Hideous nightmares of all contracts taking three months to complete fill my nights.
Nope. Two of those contracts came within three weeks of deal negotiation. The other will probably come next week (which is a reasonable amount of time).
Finally, all the eggnog must be gone. So technically, I guess I really don’t have a rant until it happens again…