Money, Money, Where's the Money?
with Lindy R. Rymill
*** Verla has set the topic on channel #Kidlit to Where's the Money workshop for Writers here tonight
Roxyanne: Hello, ladies!
Verla: Hi, Sheryl and Roxy
Verla: You are both very early. :-)
Roxyanne: I just wanted to make sure I could get in. I'll be back in about 20 minutes.
SherylT: Hi everybody!
Roxyanne: Is that okay?
Verla: I was doing the same thing...hehehe
SherylT: Well, I just wanted to see if I could do it -- a little assurance before the Big Game! haha!
Roxyanne: See you in a bit.
Verla: Me, too, Roxy!
Verla: okay, roxy..
Verla: we start right at six (for you)
Verla: Good thinking, sheryl
Verla: Sometimes it takes a bit to get in and figure out how to "talk" etc
Verla: Grin. Welcome to Kidlit. Everyone, meet Alice.
DonaV: Hi, alice!
zbell: Hi Alice!
Verla: Alice is the editor of CWIM, (Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market guidebook) folks
Verla: And she is going to lead one of our workshops in January.
DonaV: We're looking forward to the workshop, Alice
Verla: Wow. This room is getting full of important people. :-)
zzap: what do I have to type to change my nick?
Verla: Hmmm. I'll have to change your name in the transcript, zap.
Suzy-Q: you have to go out and change it and come back in.
Verla: You can ONLY change it BEFORE you sign on to Chat City, zap. You can't be on the server (OR in the room) when you change it.
zzap: somebody changed it for me last time
Verla: No, it can't be changed
Suzy-Q: Not in talkcity, zbell
Suzy-Q: On the other server, but not here.
connection, which is via cable, not a telephone line, as is normally used.
zzap: well, do you suppose I could talk everyone into calling me zzap then?
Verla: We can do that, zap
Verla: then when I do the transcript I'll use the search and replace feature to change it to Lindy
Verla: so when it's posted, your real name will be there...and we will just tell everyone who you are tonight, okay?
zzap: oh thank you
Guest09896: I can't change the danged thing, either
Verla: ask sq how. She can tell you, lin.
NOTE: Guest09896 is lin
Guest09896: I'll try again
Verla: sq...lin needs your help
Suzy-Q: What do you need Lin?
Guest09896: how do I change my nick in MIRC?
Verla: she wants to change her nick in MIrc from Guest but doesn't know how.
Suzy-Q: When you first log on mIRC there is a box for your nick, you have to change it there.
Guest09896: I know. But it won't let me erase or type in
Suzy-Q: That is strange
Guest09896: yep...it is. Let me leave and try a different name altogether
Suzy-Q: you can not be connected to a server in any way lin
Guest09896: it's frozen...light gray
Guest09896: It won't allow me to use my name, which is registered. It gives me this nick
NOTE: We think this problem is a direct result of her type of server
zzap: just so you know, I can't change my log on name either; that box isn't open anymore
Verla: Okay, everyone, zzap is lindy Rymill, our workshop leader for tonight
Verla: We will be starting the workshop in about three minutes, everyone. Once we begin, please don't do any hellos or goodbyes or personal chit chat until the workshop is over. But you are welcome and ENCOURAGED to join in the discussion.
zzap: yes yes ENCOURAGED!
zzap: I'm counting on y'all to chime in on the answers.
Verla: you bet, zap
Suzy-Q: My grandaughter is trying her darnest to wear out your book, GOOD KNIGHT, Lindy
Suzy-Q: She even knows the part you wrote to me by heart. LOL
NOTE: LOL = Laughing Out Loud
Verla: Everyone loves your book, zap.
Verla: I'm reading it tomorrow to a local daycare, zap
Dani257: What book?
zzap: aw shucks, verla. I'm blushing.
Don_S: Alias what's that?
AliceP: I love your books, too, Lindy
zzap: oh thank you Alice
Verla: Quick! Set up the podium someone...get the chairs in order...get a glass of water for Lindy (zzap) and check the microphone!
Suzy-Q makes sure the mic is set up and working. test, test, 1,2,3 test
Verla: thanks, sq...I knew I could count on you !
zzap: Did anyone see the "Who Hops" on Mad About You tonight?
Verla: No! Darn. Missed it, zap.
_Lyra: I didn't see it on tv--how was it?
AliceP: yeah--that was great!
zbell sneaks a can of silly string from SQ for later!
Verla wants silly string, too....I think gold would look good on zap...
Suzy-Q passes out silly string.
Verla: Okay, we are ready to begin..
*** Verla has set the topic on channel #Kidlit to Where's the Money workshop for Writers in progress
Lindy: My turn, I guess, eh?
Suzy-Q: Yea Lindy!!!!
Verla: Everyone, our featured workshop leader tonight is Linda R Rymill, picture book author of Good Knight and RA for Michigan
NOTE: RA = Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Regional Advisor
Verla: She is in disguise as Lindy, but we will not hold that against her, as that will be changed when the workshop transcript is posted.
Lindy: sounds fair.
NOTE: All the rest of the listings of "zzap" in this workshop have been changed to her real name of Lindy for ease of reading this transcript.
Lindy: How many of you are published?
_Lyra: raising my hand
Guest09896: me too
Verla waves her hand in the air...ME! Me, too!
Lindy: Well then, I shall ask you published people to help as the questions roll in.
Lindy: Shall we start with questions?
Verla: Okay...I want to hear what everyone who has been published feels about money in this business....IS there any?
Dani257: There better be
Verla: I know that I have gotten some...but what about everyone else?
SherylT: Where is the money?
Lindy: I think there's a fair amount in speaking engagements/school talks.
Dani257: Ugh, public speaking
Verla: Actually, I'm finding that school visits are FUN, dani.
_Lyra: I have made over a grand this year from public speaking & short story sales--not enough to live on
dorii: Lindy, Have you been invited to do a lot of school visits?
Dani257: Well, we had a storyteller at our library the other day. She seemed to have a lot of fun. Anyone heard of Angela the Yarnspinner?
Verla: Not me, Dani
Suzy-Q: What kind of money are we looking at when we sell a PB or novel?
NOTE: PB = Picture Book
Lindy: PB usually bring 10% royalty (5% author 5% illust)
Lindy: novel, 10%, yes Lyra? Although sometimes less.
Suzy-Q: What about up front money.. Advances?
Lindy: And the average pic book advance on a first book I think is still $3 - 5000. Would you guys agree?
_Lyra: sounds right, Lindy
Amenav: Nope Lindy. Mine was considerably less.
Verla: From what I've seen, Advances are VERY variable, sq.....anywhere from $500 to several thousand dollars for a normal first advance
Lindy: Holiday House is around $1000-$2000 advance for author pic book, yes?
Amenav: I'm not sure. My Canadian publisher got Holiday House on board.
Lindy: average pic book advance for author is $3-5000, I think.
Lindy: Smaller houses maybe less.
Verla: No, I think the average picture book first advance is about $1000 to $3000 for a first book, Lindy
Lindy: Amenav, what house are you published with?
Amenav: I've published with Stoddart Kids ( canadian) and Holiday House. And Scholastic canada
_Lyra: Those are good houses, Amenav
Amenav: Thanks Lyra.
DonaV: Lindy is that average picture book advance, the writer's part, or is it divided with the illustrator
Verla: THAT amount is just for the writer, dona. Illustrators get their own advance payment separately from the author's advance.
Lindy: I also understand that the average advance to illus is more.
Amenav: They need more money to draw the pictures.
Lindy: Because of the cost of doing the art (I'm told)
_Lyra: Advance is what you can count on--I have yet to see royalty payments earn-out
Lindy: I also am beginning to believe that agents SOME-times can garner you more advance...
dorii: LOL.. That's IF you can get an agent!
_Lyra: defnitely, Lindy--about agents
Lindy: of course, advance isn't EVERYthing.
Dani257: It isn't?:-)
_Lyra: My advance has increased--even with a new publisher
Lindy: I think that escalating rights are a nice thing to get IF you really believe in your book.
Lindy: yes yes yes
Suzy-Q: What are escalating rights?
Verla: An escalation clause is where if the book sells over XXX number of copies, then you get a bigger royalty %, SQ
Amenav: but don't most contracts have escalation clauses?
Lindy: no, amenav
Amenav: Oh. Mine did. I just assumed they were standard.
_Lyra: my contracts through my agent ALL has escalation (don't know about new one yet)
Lindy: most of my friends only were successful getting escalation clauses on third books or so.
Lindy: Although, as Steven Malk said, everythings different (depending on author and ms)
Amenav: Are you with Steven Malk Lindy?
Lindy: no Amenav. I have no agent.
Verla: actually, in my experience, most contracts do NOT have escalation clauses, Amenav. I had to FIGHT for mine.
Verla: They refused it on my first and second books...so I got an agent to negotiate my third (and subsequent books) and SHE got one for me on those books
ClaraRose: You have escalation clauses?
_Lyra: I had escalation clauses--but they needed to make HUGE sales to kick in
Amenav: What do you consider huge sales? Mine kick in at about five thousand.
_Lyra: Mine were paperback--so had to be like 100,000
_Lyra: which NEVER even came close!!
Verla: I think mine don't kick in until around 25,000 books, Amenav
Amenav: Is yours out of print Lyra?
_Lyra: my books are mostly out of print, Amenav
Amenav: That's too bad Lyra. I hear they go out of print so fast these days.
_Lyra: I have 2 of 20 books still in print
_Lyra: The trick of it is when your books are ready to go out of print, buy a lot at discount for future school talks
Amenav: definitely Lyra.
Suzy-Q: Do they tell you they are going out of print?
Amenav: Usually they do don't they? I wrote it into a contract that they first have to give me the option of buying all the remainders.
_Lyra: excellent idea, Amenav!
Verla: Good clause to put in your contracts, Amenav!
Amenav: Thanks Lyra & Verla.
_Lyra: they don't always tell you the books are going out of print--after 1 year or so you have to ASK
_Lyra: I was offered the last box of 3 of my 4 GHOST series
Lindy: I think when one sell a piece though (mag or book) one should be happy thinking the advance is the only money he may ever see from it.
Obleena: yeah, so get as much of an advance as possible
Guest09896: agree. make the money up front
Lindy: Is yours a pic book, Amenav?
Amenav: Yes I've got two picture books out and a ya novel due in the spring.
dorii: I'd like to know if there's any money in writing for the magazines?
Verla: My first two short story sales took me two years to make...and I made $40 and $55 each from them
Verla: NOT a lot a money in THAT.
Lindy: But many magazine writers make reasonably good money
Amenav: I'd think sometimes there's more money in magazines.
Lindy: Often you only sell first rights and can sell same article again and again.
_Lyra: You can get more frequent mag sales--and some places pay GOOD
Lindy: sometimes in anthology too.
Lindy: Plus one should be able to write and market more mag articles
_Lyra: True, Lindy--one friend sold articles over & over
Lindy: and non-fiction is a big market
AliceP: have you considered nonfiction, Lindy?
Lindy: Yes alice.
DonaV: Does anyone put out an ideal contract for children's writers, like the SFWA does for SF writers?
NOTE: SF = Verla believes that SF stands for Science Fiction and SFWA *may* stand for something like Science Fiction Writers in America - but this is just an "educated guess" so if you know differently, please contact Verla and let her know!
Lindy: I know of no "ideal contract" but there are some resources for contracts.
Lindy: One is Mary Flower's book.
NOTE: Verla highly recommends the book, BUSINESS & LEGAL FORMS FOR AUTHORS & SELF-PUBLISHERS by Tad Crawford, published by Allworth Press, New York
Lindy: But I am pretty amazed that some people seem to make $10,000 - 15,000 in school talks a year.
_Lyra: I'm not, Lindy ... but some people like David Swartz charge VERY big amounts & are booked years in advance
SherylT: How much per talk?
Verla: I'm JUST starting out with my talks, Sheryl, so I'm charging $100 - $200 per talk right now...but that may go up as I get more experienced and more in demand
NOTE: Verla just got two new bookings for school talks for March and they are paying her $250 a day for each of the talks. :-)
Lindy: Sheryl, speakers seem to charge from $200-$1200 per day
Amenav: I charge $150 per hour for a storytelling performance.
dorii: Do you sell your own talks or visits to schools? Self promotion?
_Lyra: I have a brochure I hand out about my talks & books
Lindy: I think self promo is very important
Verla: I have been getting my own bookings, dori
Lindy: connecting with your local SCBWI chapter, local librarians, schools, reading associations.
Lindy: having a website is great!
Suzy-Q ties ToniBuzzeo in her chair.
NOTE: Toni kept getting "dumped" out of the chat room and coming back in
ToniBuzzeo: Sorry. Chair keeps tipping me out!
_Lyra: sending some velcro to hold Toni in her chair
ToniBuzzeo: Ah. THERE. Now I'll stick :>
Lindy: And as Lyra suggests, she sells some of her books at the schools. Some authors do not sell their own inventory, but the school purchases it for sale and the profits can sometimes help pay for the author's visit
_Lyra: When the books, like mine, are paperback it's easy to keep them and sell at talks
ToniBuzzeo: I do know some schools who sell books in order to fund author visits.
ToniBuzzeo: We pass the entire discount on to our families
ToniBuzzeo: They, in turn, fund all of the visits through PTO
Amenav: Have you done any school visits Lindy?
Lindy: just starting... got a call today to book me for a week.
Lindy: I've done speaking for adults, though.
Amenav: Are adults tough? I've got an adult session coming up.
_Lyra: I have spoken to MANY writers groups and love it!
Amenav: I've spoken to a lot of kids and THEY love it. To me it's work to get them to laugh.
Lindy: I think adults are easier than kids. I mean... just like in writing. Kids won't be patient waiting for the "good stuff."
Verla: I heard a very interesting tip once...about school visits and payments of them...
Amenav: do tell verla.
Verla: I was told that if you do NOT charge for school visits, you are treated as though you are not important. But if you DO charge, then you are treated as if you are worth listening to. AND..if you want to donate your services, then have the school pay you, and turn around and give them back the check for books for their library.
Guest09896: Nice idea Verla
Lindy: Good point, Verla--and I agree!
ToniBuzzeo: An interesting notion. I can't imagine not paying an author/illustrator to my school.
Amenav: I've heard that too but what do you do when your child's teacher asks you to come in?
_Lyra: You do local talks for free as a community service
_Lyra: Also by doing them for free, you're gaining experience and building a reputation
Lindy: hey, we all do anything for our child, yes?
Guest09896: PTA money is usually in such short supply
guest-Lyn: I've done local talks for free; they've never offered and I've never asked.
ToniBuzzeo: They have never offered to PAY you Lyn?
guest-Lyn: No, Toni -- and I don't bring it up. But I hesitate more about saying yes, lately.
Lindy: But if an author is savvy, they can teach the school how to make enough money from selling his/her books--to pay for her talk.
Obleena: I think your kid's classroom is a good place to "practice"
Guest09896: yep, there and library reading hours/bookstores etc
ToniBuzzeo: I pay my local authors as well as my out of town speakers.
guest-Lyn: Wish I lived in Maine!!!
ToniBuzzeo: The book Jane and I are writing will certainly lead schools and libraries to expect to pay, as well as to prepare for meaningful visits.
guest-Lyn: Toni, does your book deal with actual rates?
ToniBuzzeo: No, it doesn't, because it is a national approach and rates vary so.
ToniBuzzeo: I think that you could comfortably say (without offending them) that you've moved beyond free speaking.
Amenav: Me too. You have to ask, and then it's up to them to say what they can afford.
_Lyra: Lyn--I've learned to ask when approached about talking, "How much are you able to pay?"
ToniBuzzeo: I love that line Linda!
guest-Lyn: I like that -- how much are you able to pay?
Verla: I've been telling people who ask what I charge that because I'm new, I'll accept whatever their usual rate is. I said that to my first offer...and I would have done the talk for $50 because it was my FIRST one and local...and they paid me $150!
Lindy: The experience is valuable and one could collect referrals, even if one doesn't get paid.
pearlsue: Amena--what if they say they can't afford anything? Would you still do it?
Amenav: I don't really need practice now. But what I did get was them to sponsor me for a grant I'd received where I go into schools and work with kids. In that way they pay me.
Amenav: Nope. I wouldn't. I tell them it takes me time to prepare and time away from my writing. Only one librarian has asked me to do a freebie and I ended up negotiating with her to get back to me when she can afford to pay me.
_Lyra: And the more you do, the more you charge and more often you're asked
guest-Lyn: Maybe it's time for me to stop doing freebies.
Lindy: true. And one should try to collect good evaluations and obtain permission to quote them in your brochure.
Lindy: Also, ask someone at the school if you can use their school as a reference.
_Lyra: I've never gotten quotes, but it's a good idea for brochures
Verla: Oh..for those who came in late...Lindy is Linda R. Rymill, author of picture book GOOD KNIGHT and RA for Michigan
*** Signoff: Lindy (Leaving)
_Lyra: speaker left!!!
Verla: ooops. We lost our fearless leader!
Suzy-Q: Oh no!!!! Our speaker is gone!
SherylT: Come back here!
Obleena: dang, Verla, what'd you say?
Suzy-Q: Verla did you get the trout out?
Dani257: Verla? Trout? What's going on here?
NOTE: When someone gets "out of line" in a fun way in the Kidlit chat room, Verla or someone else in the room will often "slap that person around the room with a wet trout" in jest. It is a standing joke in the room.
Verla: Sure, everyone. Blame her disappearance on ME. Hmph.
*** Lindy has joined channel #Kidlit
Verla: Hooray! Our fearless leader, Lindy (Linda Rymill) is BACK
Amenav: wb Lindy
NOTE: wb = Welcome Back
Suzy-Q: WB Lindy
dorii: I'd like to hear more about magazine publishing, if anyone would care to tell about their 'successes?'
NOTE: This question was not answered
pearlsue: Where do you draw the line? Would you do your own kids' schools for free?
Lindy: But I think it's hard to know what good in the long run a talk or presentation might do for you, Amenav
Lindy: Even if you do it cheap/free
Amenav: I belong to the Canadian equivalent of SCBWI and they have rates for performances. But when I spoke to places they said the rates were too high.
ToniBuzzeo: What are the "too high" rates, Amena?
pearlsue: Does SCBWI have rates like that?
NOTE: SCBWI = Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators
Lindy: There are some great guidelines on negotiating rates. I saw some wonderful info for schools published by Harper Collins.
pearlsue: Title, Lindy--is it a book?
SherylT: Where can we get the guidelines?
Lindy: No, it's a freebie provided to people who want to book Harper Collins authors or illustrators.
pearlsue: OK, Lindy, thanks.
Lindy: Also, some websites have info on school talks... In fact, if you just click on the author sites that are connected to SCBWI
Lindy: Many of them have info on their presentations, what they charge, what they need, etc.
pearlsue scribbles furiously...check SCBWI author sites...
Verla: I think a lot of it depends on YOU, though. Like Amenav is a professional speaker already. Those who are really NOT used to speaking would feel more uncomfortable charging at first.
ToniBuzzeo: Yes, I agree.
Amenav: Yes Pearl. I did my kids classes for 'free' but you know that grant I got to work in the schools? I got them to turn around and sponsor me for it. So I will get paid.
_Lyra: I have done some talks for free, but I select which ones
pearlsue: How do you decide, Lyra?
_Lyra: I do the ones that I started out doing--mostly local--for free as a community thing, but all new ones are quoted $150-$300
Obleena: but Verla, doesn't it work against you to say: "I'm new at this, therefore I don't deserve pay"?
Verla: I am only doing this until I get about 6 or so under my "belt" Obleena...
Verla: then I will just charge like anyone else. I want to not charge a lot at first locally...I want to help out my community and get some references, etc.
Obleena: right, I understand that V, but I mean in the LONG RUN
Verla: In the long run, I will be charging like everyone else does
Verla: for all of them
Verla: This group that hired me knew that I was brand new
Verla: so I was not telling them anything they didn't already know, Obleena
ToniBuzzeo: V, your approach, as you start out, makes sense.
Amenav: It makes sense to charge. It is work.
Obleena: exactly my point
Lindy: Obleena, my friend (who is new author) says "I know my rates are under the norm, but I'm just starting out...."
Lindy: AND her rates aren't MUCH under the norm and the school is happy to book her a little less expensively.
Dani257: I'd feel odd charging, because I'm not sure I'd be good the first time.
Lindy: Dani, video tape yourself, and ask you crit group to critique
Amenav: Good point Dani. I did a number of freebies before my books came out, so that when the books came out I was confident enough to charge.
Verla: So do one or two freebies locally for experience, Dani. I did that. When I knew I would be doing my first paid engagement for $150, I called up a local school and asked if I could TEST my talks on their kids. They had the entire student body there for two huge assemblies! The kids loved it and so did I. And when I gave those two talks the next week for my paid engagement, I did VERY well.
Dani257: So, what did you do before your books came out, Amena? For your talk, I mean
Amenav: I did a lot of storytelling. I got interested in it and it meshes perfectly with presenting books.
LindaSm: I agree Amenav...excellent talent to have!!
ToniBuzzeo: Or ask a trusted teacher/librarian friend to critique, perhaps with his/her class or students/
pearlsue: Amena--I'm doing the same thing. I did a freebie two weeks ago. It went so well that two teachers have asked me to do the same presentation for their classes...
pearlsue: Now I'm wondering, should I charge or not?
Obleena: what happens when you DO get good/experienced and you want to start charging but the schools don't wanna pay
Amenav: Great Pearl. You should definitely charge. And if they don't know you didn't charge, then all the better. Go aggressive. Tell them you'd be pleased to do the presentations. What are your rates?
pearlsue: Amena--but they DO know that I didn't charge. That's the sticky part...
Amenav: In that case Pearl, you need to tell them that, although you didn't charge for that talk, You're sure they'll understand that you need some recompense for your effort. Then say, What are your rates?
_Lyra: I find that schools are often more interested in the authors who charge & deliver more
Lindy: But whether or not we charge we should always do our best, yes? it's only professional.
LindaSm: I feel funny about that Lyra...I shouldn't though. All of my kids PTA's have been so poor!
Amenav: One drawback to charging schools though is that it puts more pressure on you to perform. To give them their money's worth.
pearlsue: LindaSm--speakers fees don't usually come from the PTA budget, but from curriculum.
_Lyra: LinS--I've heard teachers discuss which authors are better--wanting the more prestigious ones
ToniBuzzeo: ALL speaker's fees in Portland come from PTO funds Linda!
pearlsue: Wow, Toni, didn't know that. Lots of regional differences, as you say...
Amenav: Definitely do your best. Because word of mouth can spread your name. One school called me based on a parent's reaction to my library visit.
SallyA: They come from PTA here, too.
ToniBuzzeo: Where are YOU, Sally?
Amenav: Mine have come from PTA too. But that's not the issue. You're enriching the children's education
ToniBuzzeo: Ah, maybe it's an east coast thing!
_Lyra: The fees I earn come from special book-related funds
Dani257: There MUST be other ways to make money. I have chronic stage fright
Verla: Amenav, I don't think it's a drawback that charging puts more pressure on you to perform..I think it's a stimulation to you to do better!
Amenav: I don't know Verla. The first few visits, I could hardly sleep the night before. Now it's no problem
ClaraRose: Amenav, you are definitely right. You are enriching those childrens educations.
Amenav: Exactly so it's good for the PTA to pay you.
_Lyra: The teachers tell me they want the kids to know authors are real and get excited about books
ToniBuzzeo: My kids' educations and lives are being enriched this very week with a joint author and illustrator visit!!
NOTE: Toni got dumped again from the Kidlit room
Suzy-Q wraps a chain around ToniBuzzeo and hooks the other end to Verla's chair.
ToniBuzzeo: Thanks sq!
ToniBuzzeo: I know that in Massachusetts authors who don't charge the going rate are encouraged to do so by the other local authors.
Lindy: I've been on both sides; not quick to agree with you Linda
Amenav: No no. I was talking about undercutting in accepting no speaker fee where everyone else insists on one.
LindaSm: Amanav...I agree....
Verla: ah...I've been told that, too...that you hurt other writers when you do a lot of freebies (outside your own home town area) and/or charge way lower rates than everyone else is charging. (I'm not talking about new people getting started, here, but about established speakers, now.)
Obleena: I agree Verla
Amenav: Definitely Verla. Public speaking seems to be the major way in which chidren's authors get reimbursed.
Obleena: and, Verla, I think it goes back to the "image" thing
Lindy: Certainly the past has always been the poor author gets taken advantage of.
LindaSm: Do you feel that the less a publisher invests, the less likey they are to keep your book in print, market it Etc etc?
Verla: I think the MORE a publisher has invested in you, LindaSm, the more likely they are to try to make SURE your books do well
LindaSm: I agree Verla
LindaSm: it depends on the publisher too
Verla: I think my two books, Gold Fever and Moving On (title to be possibly changed) have MUCH better artwork because of the fact that Putnam had three of my books under contract with NONE out yet and they couldn't afford to keep the artwork that was first done on Moving On...as it wouldn't have been suitable for my book)
Lindy: LindaSm, I hope not. I'm Old School.
LindaSm: but the more ANY company invests in their "stock" so to speak, the more likely they are to make sure their product does well:
Amenav: Thanks LindaSm
Obleena: Lindy: what does Old School mean?
pearlsue: But Lindy--everything you read these days says that children's book publishing is much more bottom-line oriented than it used to be. You don't believe that?
Lindy: Fair for all: each party. No gouging: Everyone does their best to support each other.
Lindy: Mutual Trust
Obleena: Lindy: what is gouging in this case?
Lindy: When a house is forced to put an enormous sum into an advance... it must hinder their other purchases, don't you think?
LindaSm: Lindy...getting the best money for your product has nothing to do with trust/gouging...do you agree/
Lindy: Yes ...and no.
Amenav: gouging is more like undercutting. That's what a lot of people hate.
LindaSm: undercutting who?
Obleena: wait a minute...if I get a bigger advance than my neighbor, I am GOUGING them?
Lindy: Gouging to me is taking advantage (not necessarily undercutting)
Lindy: I din't mean that. And I CERTAINLY don't think that all books have the same value to a house.
LindaSm: You can't take advantage of a HUGE publisher IMO THEY can take advatage of YOU
NOTE: IMO = In My Opinion
Obleena: but, Lindy, you said that if a pub gives a large advance to one author that it keeps them from purchasing OTHER author's mss
NOTE: mss = manuscripts
Obleena: happens in the "freelance" world
LindaSm: Maybe at tiny houses Lindy
Amenav: No it can't prevent a publisher from accepting other mss. Any publisher would not spend more than they can afford on an advance. They know their list does not conisist of one book
Lindy: This is what I mean....
Lindy: Let's say there's four good ms. at a house
Lindy: One is better than the rest
Lindy: Pub has $30,000 to spend.
Obleena: but, Lindy, if that BEST ms is YOURs...
Lindy: I guess I'm just a team player. And IF my ms. is the best, then it will sell better and I'll make it up in royalties.
Obleena: but how would you even KNOW there's a game being played...
LindaSm: Lindy...I know we'll have to agree to disagree : ) but I think there is NO other business in this world that would work that way...
Lindy: How many of you sell to magazines?
SherylT: I do!
SallyA: I do
_Lyra: I still short stories online
Verla: I have SOLD to magazines, but a long time ago, Lindy
Verla: now I sell regularly to Keystrokes On-Line writing newsletter.
Harazin: I do
Dani257: Almost, maybe
Dani257: They're making a decision on one of my stories
Amenav: The magazines always rejected me. *sigh*
ToniBuzzeo: not I, said the Maine hen.
guest-Lyn: I have.
Lindy: What's your view on making dollars from mags? Have you sold the same article twice?
guest-Lyn: I do fiction. Can only sell once.
SallyA: The $ depends upon the mag. This year I sold the same subject matter with different approaches, twice - with pictures.
_Lyra: Good idea, Sally
Verla: I haven't Lindy. the two short stories I sold they bought all rights. (And I was just told that one of those stories showed up AGAIN in Humpty Dumpty in the july-aug 98 issue! (There's an Onion in My Spinach)
Lindy: Veral, printed twice paid once?
Amenav: Does it at least have your name on it Verla?
Verla: yes, Lindy...they bought ALL rights, you see? I wasn't even told the story was being reprinted.
Amenav: That stinks Verla. But did it have your name on it?
Verla: Amenav..Oh, yes! My name was on it. But..I haven't seen it yet!
Lindy: Ooh, Verla. That hurts.
Verla: actually, I don't mind, Lindy. I DID sell all rights...and...my name is still on the story and I got paid for it when they first bought it. I don't feel at all "cheated"...except I wish I'd known it was being reprinted as I'd liked to have bought some of the new issue for my own use, too!
SherylT: I've sold the same type of article differently slanted
guest-Lyn: Can't make money selling fiction to magazines, but I do it to keep my hand in.
Verla: yes, people who do non-fiction can make a lot more money in the magazine markets, I think
Lindy: Has anyone sold puzzles/fillers/etc?
SherylT: I do fillers and tips
Dani257: What kind of fillers?
SherylT: The tips go about 3-5 sentences for $15 to $45 dollars.
Lindy: That seems pretty darn good, Sheryl, don't you think?
SherylT: Very! I also do greetings cards and there are kid greeting card markets, too.
ClaraRose: how well do greeting card markets pay?
_Lyra: I always wanted to do greeting cards...sounds fun
pearlsue: I don't know, Clara, but I've heard that American Greetings pays the best...
Dani257: Ooh, I'd like to do greeting cards. Do you have to be an artist?
SherylT: Pretty -- $25 to $150 for about 20 words or less average.
Verla: no, you can just do the verses/sayings on them, dani
Lindy: Shery, where do you submit your kid's greeting cards?
SherylT: That's true -- they do pay great -- but Blue Mtn. Arts goes $200.
LindaSm: Doesn't American greetings have mostly "in" house artists and poets?
SherylT: American, Gibson -- they're in the CWIM.
NOTE: CWIM = Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market guidebook
SherylT: Lots of others.
LindaSm: I didn't know that Sheryl
AliceP: Not in CWIM, Sheryl
SherylT: They all have in-house but they also have burn out! haha! Thankfully for me.
LindaSm: oh! hahah
Roxyanne: I've had several poems picked for editorial review by Blue Mtn. They kept one for two years before rejecting it.
Obleena: Alice: In Writer's Market?
Roxyanne: I even had a preliminary contract for a couple of them.
AliceP: Yes, I think, and Artist's Mkt
SherylT: I'm looking at the 1997 CWIM and it's pages 238 to 249.
Amenav: What is CWIM?
AliceP: I'm thinking 1999 CWIM
Obleena: Children's Writers and Illustrators Marketplace
SherylT: So Alice, you're saying that the greeting cards, puzzles and game sections won't be in the '99 issue?
AliceP: It will be in 1999-don't think
AliceP: I'll have those companies though
NOTE: Alice is the Editor of CWIM
Lindy: A friend of mine queries a lot via email and sells over the internet. she's done quite well.
_Lyra: I have a writer friend who has sold non-fiction health/diet articles and at her best made MANY thousands a year
pearlsue: Sorry, I'm slow tonight--just remembered something apropos school visits...
pearlsue: I've met an author with 35 books published. About a dozen are still in print. She makes about $40,000/year from her 'writing'. HALF that is royalties. The other half is from appearances!!
Verla: wow. Lots of money for her writing income, pearl!
_Lyra: Pearl--that's THE goal!
pearlsue: But Lyra--do you know how many appearances that is!? Much less, having that many books in print at once!? I don't want to travel that much!!
_Lyra: You can set your OWN traveling plan, Pearl
Amenav: There's always local events pearl. And schools would love you.
Amenav: But traveling helps promote the books.
_Lyra: Do you know that the Animorph author won't do ANY public appearances--turned PEOPLE Mag down?
_Lyra: If you are comfortable speaking and traveling, then it will help--but if you don't enjoy it, that'll show
Lindy: Good for you, Sheryl! How long do you think it took you vs. pay?
Amenav: I'd love to travel. Problem is I've got small kids.
ClaraRose: can you bring your kids when you travel?
_Lyra: I have spoken at writing conventions and loved it--from Hawaii to New York
Amenav: Wow Lyra. I'd love to do that!
_Lyra: It was great (and my kids WERE still small then!)
LindaSm: I'll take Hawaii!
pearlsue: I would too, Lyra--but as you say, I'd choose only a few a year. I guess I'll just have to resign myself to being poor until my kids are grown!
Amenav: Me too. Always wanted to go to Hawaii.
_Lyra: Ask me about the Hawaii story someday (g)
ClaraRose: I know some family friends in Hawaii.
_Lyra: These were at writing conventions I planned to attend anyway--the speaking was a plus
Amenav: That's what I"m determined to do. Many of the conferences I want to go to will have to pay me to come
Lindy: what are some other ways to make money writing?
SallyA: If you write non-fiction for kids' mags, you can redo the article, same subject, several ways. I did that with a couple of nature subjects, too.
_Lyra: A BIG way to make money is doing critiquing, once you have the experience & credits
_Lyra: I've heard the authors who critique for the Writing Institute (?) earn a VERY good income
Amenav: I hate critiqueing.
pearlsue: Institute of Children's Literature, Lyra. Yes, I know people who've worked for them.
_Lyra: But once your writing career gets going, you have to focus on what will bring the best results & enjoyment
Lindy: Lyra, bravo! Yes indeedy, enjoyment counts.
_Lyra: I enjoy writing the books AND the short stories, also some articles for publications I subscribe to
Lindy: Don't y'all wonder how much the yellow smily face guy got? or the "Life is a Beach? or etc etc
Dani257: yellow smiley face?
Obleena: I'm sure they got zippo, Lindy
Lindy: SOMEbody must have thought of it first, no?
Obleena: meaning, old Smiley Face probably became Public Domain since it appeared EVERYwhere
Obleena: TM and copyright/trade cannot keep up with that kind of thing
Obleena: what about educational market? Do any of you write for teaching pubs?
Lindy: I have a friend who does a lot of education stuff.
Lindy: She says the guidelines are clear and assignments are easy to get...
Lindy: pay resonably well.
LindaSm: Huge market...edu
Obleena: I know it's another market, but WFH
Obleena: work for hire
Roxyanne: I'm doing a wfh now.
Amenav: Thanks Obleena.
_Lyra: I wrote some work for hire books--a Sweet Valley
Amenav: Wow Lyra. Real people write Sweet Valley?
_Lyra: I wrote Barnyard Battle #59
AliceP: what's the money like with packagers?
_Lyra: I was paid $3000 each time
Amenav: Wow Lyra. That's great.
Dani257: How hard is it to write for a series like that?
_Lyra: The 5 books I did for Sweet Dreams YA romance were flat fee, too
Roxyanne: Thanks, Lyra. How many words did you have to turn in?
pearlsue: Interesting, Lyra. Can I ask you frankly--how did you feel about writing within the parameters they set up?
_Lyra: For Sweet Valley, it was one of the hardest writing I did--but mostly because in revision I had 3 editors
ClaraRose: I'll bet you learned a lot though
_Lyra: And I was told to write over what they needed--30 pages were cut
Amenav: But if it's $3000 is that enough to lose the royalties you might earn?
_Lyra: I was thrilled to write for Sweet Valley--I went through TWO auditions to get that job (g)
pearlsue: Was it worth it, Lyra? Would you do it again?
LindaSm: Experience though
_Lyra: And I learned a LOT...patience, hair-pulling, acceptance
Amenav: I'm hoping mine do.
Obleena: let's be optimistic and say ALL OF OUR BOOKS WILL...haha
LindaSm: What # book was this for you Lyra?
_Lyra: Lins-It was my 3rd book sale
_Lyra: Although I admit, I have NEVER done another Sweet Valley and have no plans to
Verla: Yikes! Our hour is nearly UP! Lindy, is there anything that you would like to say before we close the workshop? ( We only have about five minutes left!)
Lindy: Amenav, how many books do you think sell out their advance?
Verla: I'm hoping mine will earn out, too, Lindy. Did yours?
Amenav: My second book has already sold a quarter of it's Canadian print run and it's only been out two months.
Lindy: Maybe just that I DO (as linda S thinks) think we all need to be professional, and ask for a fair amount of money. And reasonable contracts!
Dani257: Would it be a good idea for someone starting out?
LindaSm: wow, and you went onto 18 more
Amenav: I don't think they'd take someone starting out Dani
Dani257: Oh, well. C'est la vie
Lindy: I think one needs to know the norm...
Lindy: and use that as a base.
Lindy: But, for me, money isn't the reason I write. BUT I couldn't afford to play at writing, unless I was collecting a bit here and there.
Obleena: Lindy, what is FAIR?
_Lyra: Dani--it's a good way to start, get a professional style & credits
LindaSm: I agree Lindy...I write because I LOVE to write
Lindy: No. once in a while there's a Big advance on a Great ms... but usually no.
Lindy: That's why I think it's important for authors to talk to each other.
Roxyanne: MIne is a book on life in Ancient Egypt for Lucent. I'm doing the first chapter and outline now, on spec.
Roxyanne: It's my first one.
_Lyra: congrats, Roxyanne!
Roxyanne: I'm not far enough into the book I'm doing to know if it will be hard or not. Right now I'm really enjoying the research.
Roxyanne: This is my first book sale, pending of course.
pearlsue crosses fingers and toes for Roxyanne
Roxyanne: Thank you Pearl.
LindaSm: fingers crossed Roxyanne!
Roxyanne: Thanks, Linda, too!
Amenav: I write because I have something to say.
_Lyra: The money is nice--but talking to kids & fan letters have been even nicer
Amenav: Wow that must be nice Lyra.
Lindy: Yes, fans ARE nice.
Suzy-Q: I write because it is me.
_Lyra: I write to create...and tease readers (g)
Obleena: but, Lindy, dont you find it difficult to really find an "average" pay for mss?
Lindy: kinda like that lollipop AFTER the cotton candy and the circus ticket.
pearlsue: Lyra--I'm so in awe of your Sweet Valley ability ;-). I've just been given a chance to write a book with VERY loose parameters--and I feel totally paralyzed.
Obleena: Hey Linda Joy
Amenav: Really pearl? Which book?
pearlsue: Amena--historical fiction. Pick a person--any person, as long as they were a 'real' historical figure (don't have to be famous). Write a fictional account of their childhood.
_Lyra: Only do it, Pearl, if you WANT to
Dani257: Tell me more about the Sweet Valley book. How do you audition? How detailed are the guidelines?
_Lyra: When the book came out, instead of being proud, I felt cheated...lots was changed
LindaSm: oooh Lyra
Amenav: Without your permission Lyra?
_Lyra: I auditioned by writing sample chapters, sample outline ... TWICE
Amenav: Ooh. Are you going to do it pearl?
Dani257: Maybe it's not such a good idea?
pearlsue: Now, you would think with a brief that 'open', I could come up with a proposal!!
_Lyra: They do NOT consider the writer part of the book once the first draft is done
pearlsue: Instead...I'm paralyzed. Even that seems too much of an 'order' for me...
Amenav: I can't write like that.
_Lyra: But your name will be on the book, won't it, Pearl?
pearlsue: Oh yes, Lyra--it will be 'my' book just like a normal submission. It's just nice that THEY came to me (through my agent)...but I still can't think of a proposal!!
_Lyra: That's flattering, Pearl!
_Lyra: I would be SO thrilled in your place
Suzy-Q: I know Amenav
Amenav: That's great Pearl. I think you should take them up on it.
_Lyra: I am still waiting for them to start coming to ME
pearlsue: I am, Lyra! That's why I'm so mad at myself for feeling paralyzed!
Dani257: I write because I want some kid to fall asleep with my book under his/her pillow. And I like money:-)
pearlsue: Obleena--SCBWI gives out 'average' figures depending on the size of house...
LindaSm: nice Dani
Suzy-Q: I really write because I love laughter.
_Lyra: I write because it's WHO I am
pearlsue: Not me LindaSm--I write because I can't not write...
Obleena: I love to write AND love to get paid
LindaSm: hahahah Obleena
Lindy: Perfect marriage, Obleena.
Verla: Me, too, Obleena! I would not still have my house if I had not made my first two book sales when I did. The advances from them were JUST enough money to save it for us when were have an extremely difficult time financially.
Amenav: That's great Verla.
LindaSm: Good for you verla!
Obleena: Yay VERLA!
Roxyanne: I'm right there myself, Verla. I need to start making money NOW, or I'll have to give up writing full time - and being a work at home mom - and go back to
Roxyanne: work in an office or something. Ack!
Verla: Roxy, there are some GREAT tips on how to make money writing in one of our workshops...Finding Markets. Go read that transcript...and she is doing a continuation of that workshop soon
Roxyanne: Thank you, Verla. I'll go look at that now.
Verla: Oh oh oh...we are OUT of time...
Verla: Lindy...got some wonderful final words for us?
Lindy: Write, love what you write and hope someone will love it enough to PAY for it?
Amenav: What happens when the time is up?
Dani257: We party!
Suzy-Q: Lindy turns into a pumpkin
Amenav: Ooh. Gotta see this. Okay Lindy. Start turning.
SherylT: I am dancing with a lampshade on my head.
Suzy-Q: and we make pumpkin pie out of her!
Amenav: Suzy!!! You cannibal. You'd eat our guest?
Dani257: Could she turn into an apple? I like apple pie. Can't stand pumpkin
Suzy-Q: She eats my apples!
Verla: No cannibalizm in the Kidlit chat room!
Amenav: LOL Verla.
Obleena: would we dare, Verla?
LindaSm: we can't AFFORD steaks Verla!
Lindy: thanks, guys.
LindaSm: Good job Lindy...thanks for coming
pearlsue: Thanks, Lindy! :-)
SherylT: Thanks Lindy!
Obleena: Thanks Lindy---Janie here ... : >
Amenav: Thanks Lindy.
Verla: December 8th will be Finding More Markets...continuation of that earlier workshop
DonaV: Lindy, great workshop! Thanks!
ClaraRose: Good job, Lindy!
Dani257: Yay. Lindy!! (We won't eat you)
Suzy-Q sprays Lindy with silly string!!!!!!!!!1
guest-Lyn: Yes, thanks Lindy.
Harazin: Thanks, Lindy
Roxyanne: Good night, and thank you for the support and information. Peace~
Verla squirts Lindy with gold silly string (GOLD! The color of REAL money.....)
Amenav: Bye pearl. Thanks for letting me know how to get here.
SherylT: Have to go feed my raccoon. See you all later!
Obleena: I was sending smoke signals
Suzy-Q hands Lindy a gourmet caramel apple, dripping with chocolate and covered in nuts.
Amenav: It's great to be here.
Amenav: Don't eat it Lindy!!!!! It's poison!
Lindy: chomp chomp CRUNCH.
Suzy-Q: Amenav i never poisen my caramel apples... do I Lindy?
Amenav: zLindy falls into a fitful sleep. She will sleep here in the chat for one hundred years till the prince comes to wake her with a kiss
DonaV: SQ, which apples *do* you poison?
_Lyra: Lindyp needs a GOOD KNIGHT kiss to wake up (g)
Lindy: No, SQ makes only Excellent apples.
Suzy-Q: None of them...... sniff, sniff.
Amenav: Okay. Not poison, but drug.
Suzy-Q: Lindy really has had my apples.
Amenav: Just joking Suzy.
ClaraRose: Christyy! Where are those chocolate cranbery cookies?
SherylT: Nitey night!
Verla: Oh, folks...next week there will be NO workshop, but the following week's workshop will be READING TO WRITE and it will be a discussion of Kid's books...by Linda Sue Park (pearlsue.)
Amenav: Great pearl. Looking forward to it.
_Lyra: what's up next week? For the holiday?
Verla: Thanksgiving week, lyra - No workshop next week
Lindy: oh boy! talking about books out there!
pearlsue: Thanks for the plug, Verla! Yes, everyone come ready to talk about GREAT books!
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