I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here, but some of you undoubtedly have seen elsewhere that some weeks ago I was contacted by the editor of a small press that puts out pet books inquiring if I would be willing to write the Rottweiler book in a series of books they’re doing on various breeds for Animal Planet. She sent me a couple of books they put out in a previous series, and I sent her a paperback of Rottweiler Rescue. Those of you with pets will have seen this kind of book in places like PetsMart. They’re hard covers but without a dust jacket.
They weren’t offering a lot of money, but it was an intriguing offer and after some back and forth I asked to see the contract. Oh, my. Maybe what they sent me is a standard contract for this kind of thing, but it left me with my mouth open. The original email offer was for a manuscript of so many words written to their outline, which she sent me, for so much money. The contract had a clause saying I was to provide photographs for the book (a photo intensive book) and that if I didn’t, or they didn’t like what I provided, they could provide the photos and charge the cost against the paltry sum they were supposedly paying me.
There was also a paragraph providing that I warranted that the work was original (fair) and then another where I would indemnify not only them but any third parties they dealt with over the book against lawsuits. I ask you! If this is a standard contract, the world must be full of writers a lot more adventurous than I. My small potato self whose only real asset is her house is not indemnifying a publishing company against anything and probably wouldn’t even if these weren’t such litigious times. My feeling is if they got sued because I plagiarized, they could drag me into that lawsuit at that time or turn around and sue me under the warranty afterwards. Am I an insurance company?
So I’ve turned the offer down, which means I’m back to what I thought would be my schedule for fiction books before all that started. I’m going to spend December cleaning up details over getting Sing out and go back and redo both Eyes and Rottweiler Rescue for the Kindle. At the time I put out those earlier books I didn’t know how to format so that the ebook would have the navigation points possible with K2 and K3, but now I do know. I really find having those nav points that let you flip from the start of one chapter to the start of the next and back very handy in an ebook and want mine to have them.
Unfortunately, it’s my understanding that people who have already bought those books won’t get an updated version even if they delete and re-download. To get a new version of an already published Kindle book, you have to call Amazon and ask. So new buyers will be the only ones to get the advantage of the extra formatting.
Then I’m going to get busy and finish the next Rottweiler mystery, Rottweiler Railroad. After that it will be another romance.