Is a Standard Publishing Contract Worth Aiming For?

I am having so much fun. I entered the Court TV Search for the Next Great Crime Writer Contest, and as of right this minute I am ranked number one!

The winner of the contest wins a $5,000 advance and a publishing contract. Sounds good, but the kicker is that the winner has to sign a standard publishing contract without any negotiations. I have heard such horror stories about the sneaky wording publishers use in those contracts, and how they can tie up your rights indefinitely even though they are no longer trying to sell your book. Is a standard publishing worth all the work it will take to win it? I don’t know.

Considering my ambivalence about the contract, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to solicit votes, but now I am really into it. It’s a heady feeling having someone you’ve never met comment on your story, and especially heady when they “get” it.

My novel, More Deaths Than One, is the story of a crime: identity theft. This theft is the actual theft of a man’s identity, not a paper one.

When Bob Stark returns home after spending eighteen years in Southeast Asia, he discovers that his mother Lydia Loretta Stark is dead again. When he attends her second funeral, he sees his brother, his college girlfriend, and . . . himself. Accompanied by a baffling young woman, he sets out to discover the truth.

You can find my entry here:

http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.jsp?articleId=281474977138910

There are a lot of great entries in this contest, and I need every vote I can get. (A vote is a rating of 10 stars, nothing less counts.) I would appreciate it if you would take a look at it.

I want more fun!

2 Responses to “Is a Standard Publishing Contract Worth Aiming For?”

  1. nomananisland Says:

    Even if you don’t like the first contract, you’d have a published book. That’s better than a foot in the door — most publishers love to publish people who have been published once already. You’re a proven commodity. Crappy writers get published over and over because people bought their early stuff, and their name got out there.

    So, as a good writer, take the crappy contract so you can start writing more and get published more, so that there are good books out there. Because so far, your book seems awesome.

  2. Bertram Says:

    Thank you for your encouragement. I never thought I had a chance, but I’m ranked #1 for the second day in a row, and not by just a few points, either.

    If nothing else, I’m learning the value of networking and marketing, which is something publishers want today. Gone are the days when a new author can get a book published then just sit back and wait for the money to roll in.


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