Thursday, February 11, 2010

Unaccustomed as I Am to Public Speaking . . .

Just got an email from my agent. Looks like I'll be speaking in Tennessee this summer. Our panel for Nationals has been accepted!

I'll be joining a terrific group of writers to talk about:
Writing As: The Trials of Being A Schizophrenic Author, for Romance Writers of America's 30th Annual Conference at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN from July 28 - 31, 2010.

There are so many authors out there who write under multiple names, we're coming out of the closet to talk about the why's and wherefor's. Even though it can be confusing, there are times when taking another pen name makes good business sense.

But Nationals isn't the only speaking engagement on my calendar. Here's what's on my list so far:

Spend Valentine’s Day with three published members of Romance Writers of America – Emily Bryan, Marie Force and Dalton Diaz – at the Duxbury Free Library, 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14. We'll discuss the elements of the romance novel and our experiences with writing and publishing. The library is at 77 Alden St., Duxbury, MA.

April 17th ~ Maine RWA Chapter, Brunswick, ME

April 24th ~ Connecticut Fiction Fest

April 26-May 1st ~ Romantic Times Convention, Columbus Ohio
If you're coming early for the Aspiring Writers workshops, I hope to be working with both Bobbi Smith's and Judi McCoy's groups!

Speaking to other writers, sharing what I've learned about writing and publishing, is one of my ways to give back to a genre that's given so much to me. Hope I'll see you at one of my stops along the way.

Question: If you could ask a published author anything, what would it be?


Jane L said...

Ok, My question would have to do with an authors loyalty to a publishing house.

"If you are an author, with an agent, do you have a choice in what publishing company your work is submitted to? Can you say, no I want to try Publisher A, even if you have been published with publisher B?"

EmilyBryan said...

Oh, good question, Jane. The answer is: It depends.

Whether you have an agent or not, if you have been published with Publisher B, check your contract before you submit to A. Most publishers have an "option" clause in their boilerplate contract, stipulating that the author must submit the next work to them for consideration before it's offered elsewhere.

If you've negotiated the option to limit it to a narrow type of submission, say only historical, then if you want to submit a paranormal or romantic suspense elsewhere, you're free to do so.

And even if the option book is accepted, an author may opt to offer it to a different publisher (knowing they risk losing the first one). Most contracts stipulate that a proposal cannot be submitted to another house until negotiations with the first are concluded and if you eventually accept another house's offer, your original contract probably states you cannot accept an offer that's less than the first house offered.

Why would an author want to accept less? I hear you asking. Money is only one part of a contract. Distribution, publisher promotion all play a role in making a deal that works.

Now if your original question was "Can I tell my agent where to submit?" My answer is: If you know more about where your work belongs than your agent, you have the wrong agent.

Jane L said...

Thanks Emily! That was a great explanation! Oh by the way CONGRATS!! on being RWA speaker!

EmilyBryan said...

Thanks, Jane. I'm thrilled to be speaking at Nationals!