How long does it take?
What’s a contract?
Should I accept that offer?
The first question is loaded – and I mean LOADED. And the answer is that it depends.
At RHP, we get a lot of submissions. Sometimes, I know right away that a manuscript is good and that I want to turn it into a book – sometimes, I know right away that I can sell this book.
But again, it depends. Sometimes, I’m pretty backlogged and I might not get back to you as soon as you think I should. After all, I have to READ these submissions, these BOOKS. How many books do you read in a day? One? More? Let’s say I receive three manuscripts on a Monday. Okay, maybe not on a Monday, Mondays are pretty hectic, but you get my point.
That’s three books to read – and some weeks, I’m lucky to be reading one. And sometimes, I just want to read for fun, ya know? And if I ALSO get two on Tuesday, and one on Thursday, and another Sunday afternoon, well – that’s seven “books” to read that week. Or the next week.
Lots of things take priority over reading manuscripts: getting a cover finalized, marketing and promoting current and upcoming titles, editing those that will be released soon. And a million other things – I’m not a robot, after all, and I still have a family. They’re around here somewhere . . .
My point is that it could take months for me to get back to you. Myself, I’ve been waiting over a year since I hastily sent off a manuscript to a Big Five publisher, before RHP was founded. And I can’t just message them every day or send emails every week – and THEY have TONS of people working on this stuff!
Sometimes, too, I get manuscripts that might need some work; or ones that don’t quite “fit.” And sure, sometimes I procrastinate in sending a “no” to authors – who wants to do that? Do YOU like to tell people no?
Let’s say I love your concept, your manuscript, and I think you have a decent platform, etc., etc. Yes, platform matters – your blog, your social media, your personality – are YOU marketable? If all these things fall into line, I’ll send an offer.
An offer is just a simple email, outlining the contract basics. If you’re amenable to these, I’ll send a formal contract. That contract will tell you exactly what RHP will do for you. It tells you what you can expect, and yes, it covers the money part and the rights part. Two very important parts.
Should you accept it?
Probably. Or not. It depends on what you envision for your book. Oh, it’s a good contract. Not much wiggle room for negotiation, but you retain your copyright, it’s only for two years, we have first right of refusal for subsequent, serial books. We don’t pay advances, but you get above-average royalties.
But seriously, read it over, talk to friends or family, even have your attorney take a look. There’s no deadline, but it’s best if you don’t take too long – when you accept, we’ll schedule publication.
I received a reply (rejection) from an agent today for a novel I wrote 2 years ago…
The RHP contract style for new books is thoughtfully presented in everyday language, straight-forward with no small print, and terms are easily understood with little clarification necessary. ~R