Tip of the Day: If you ever want to visit Oregon, come in June. The strawberries are SO good here!
A friend recently asked me if there is a web site that talks about all the stuff that happens after a book is sold. I said, no I don't think so. What do you want to know? Mostly, I think she wanted to know the timing of things. Now, I am really not an expert. I can only speak to my experience and what I've heard about others experiences. But I thought I'd give it a try. Feel free to correct me if you see anything that isn't quite right.
When does the contract arrive?
It varies. Anywhere from 30 days to 300 days, give or take a few days, after the verbal offer/acceptance. Okay, I don't know if I've heard of anyone waiting almost a year, but I've heard of people waiting a LONG time. Like 6+ months. Why can it take so long? I have no idea. My contracts have generally arrived within 2-3 months after the offer. But don't be surprised if takes a lot longer. I don't think it means *anything* other than the contracts department at the house is just overworked and underpaid like everyone else in the industry.
When does the advance arrive?
It varies. Anywhere from 30 days to 150 days, give or take a few days, after the contract is signed. Hopefully if the money isn't coming after a few months, you have a good agent who will be following up and yelling "Show me the money!"
How is the advance broken up?
It varies. Some contracts state half at signing and half at delivery of manuscript. Some contracts state half at signing and half at publication. I think some contracts break it up into thirds instead of halves. And if you have multiple books as part of your offer, it's going to be different yet.
How do taxes work on that money?
No taxes are taken out. Your agent takes his/her cut and then you get the rest. But when tax time comes around, you're going to have to report that money as income. If it's a fairly large amount, you'll want to be looking into paying quarterly estimated taxes, so you don't end up owing a bunch of money the following year when you file your taxes.
When does the editorial letter arrive?
It varies. Anywhere from 30 days to 200 days, give or take a few days, after the verbal offer/acceptance. Why can it take so long? Because editors are working on lots of projects, all at various stages, and often they have to finish editing books that come out in the season before yours. So I think those projects early in the process are the ones that are easy to put on the back burner a little bit.
How long after revisions do copy edits arrive?
It varies. Anywhere from 30 days to 120 days after the revised manuscript is submitted to copy editing. The copy editor has piles of work, plus when the manuscript comes back from the copy editor, your editor has to go through it AGAIN, and make notes where he/she agrees or disagrees with the copy editor. At this point, you really start to understand why editors have to LOVE a project to take it on.
I think I'll stop there, but if you have any burning questions you'd love to have answered, let us know and we'll do our best to answer them in future posts. :)
~Lisa, Miss Pinch Me I'm Pubbed