Thursday, March 22, 2007

Through the Woods

Dad got through the surgery so well that he's like a different person. Turns out that 90% of his right ventricle was blocked, and having normal function restored will definitely clear up the heart and a bunch of related problems. Mom and I are going over medications, diet and exercise plans like two generals planning an all-out campaign.

Typing again after using a headset for so long is interesting. The "R" on Mom's keyboard doesn't work unless I slam it. If only I wrote like Elmer Fudd speaks.

I brought some work with me to keep me occupied in the waiting room, mostly pay-out schedule stuff to update and check on. Here's a little financial advice for when you sign a contract with separate pay-outs on the advance: I give publishers 90 days after they tell me they're request a payment for me for their check to show up on my end, which I think is more than reasonable (imagine if you had to wait three months for your paycheck.)

If no check arrives by the 91st day, I send a polite reminder via my agent to the publisher, and generally get back the same answer: the check is "lost" or "was never issued" and has to be re-requested (which takes four to six weeks from that date to happen.) I update the pay-out list and put a reminder to check on it again in six weeks. I've had two or three payments go lost or unissued every year since I got into the biz, and I know other writers who have to deal with the same problem, so I advise everyone who goes pro to keep a pay-out calendar or schedule and check it monthly.

Now that the last of our split payments are being issued upon publication of the work (this is a new industry/contract trend among major publishers), it's also a good idea to tally up your advances when the book hits the shelf and make sure you've gotten everything as per the contracted pay-outs. I'm told these upon-pub pay-outs are generated by computer, not by wayward requests, which if it's true would be a big help to writers trying to collect for their work. Now if we could just get the computers to handle all the other payments . . .

29 comments:

  1. I'm relieved your father is doing so much better, give him my best wishes (I doubt he could hear my 'whoo hoo' from this far away.)

    And thanks for the finanical advice; I keep something similar for posting shorts on my other blog. When I grow up, I'll do the same for the financials.

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  2. Yanikei2:30 AM

    Yaye for your father! I'm also glad he's doing better, and I'm sure he'll be better still once you and your mother are through with him.

    The financial advice is great. I'm sure that once I actually work up the courage to venture into the publishing world, it'll be even more useful.

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  3. Glad to hear your father is doing well. That are really good news. I think it will take away some of the pressure that lasted on you during the last weeks.

    Richard

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  4. So glad to hear your dad's so much better. :-)

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  5. Very glad to hear your father is doing well! My best wishes for a speedy recovery.

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  6. Honolulu, or whatever they say in your church :) I'm so glad to hear your father is getting better.

    And thanks for the advice, as well.

    My first book was non-fiction. No advance was paid out and the royalties were paid now in February. That is nine months after the book was finally published and out in the stores.

    Oh, and the royalties are royalties on what, exactly?

    Copies sold to the stores? Copies sold to the stores with the price of X? Copies sold BY the stores to end-customers? Let's just say that it is darn near impossible for an author to actually check any of the publisher's figures on this.

    Oh - and I love my publisher. They are NOT by any means a-holes. They are actually a really good company, but the problems still exist, with most any publisher, I guess.

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  7. Ohhh, wonderful news!

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  8. Anonymous9:31 AM

    Glad to hear the surgery went well. Your dad sounds like a sweetie. My money is on you and your mom. Heart disease doesn't have a chance.

    The payout stuff in publishing is scary if you need that money to live on. I only ever wrote for Harlequin, and thought they paid pretty well, but that was back in the days before this split payment scam hit. Isn't it supposed to be an advance? Writers get dinged if they're even a little late, but publisher get by with "business practices" that are really Dickensian.

    Just a tiny rant.

    Martie

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  9. Great news on your dad! Very smart advise to track payments on the calendar.

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  10. What wonderful news!!!!!

    The problem you will have now, is that your father is going to be feeling so well, he is going to insist on doing things that he shouldn't do, and longer than he should. You may have to get him a ball and chain to slow him down.

    I'll will continue to you and your family in my prayers.

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  11. So happy to hear the good news about your Father. Good luck on keeping his diet in check. Will keep y'all on our prayer list.

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  12. So glad your dad is okay!

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  13. I'm glad your father is doing better. I hope he continues to improve.

    You and your family remain in my prayers.

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  14. Oh Lynn, I'm happy to hear your dad made it through surgery with flying colors. *g*

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  15. Been busy at my new job so didn't get a chance to check in here for a couple (four) days. Glad to see you're back. Glad your dad is okay. Glad the book is done. Heck, I'm just glad.

    Hang in there S-lady.

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  16. It feels good to hear some good news, so I'm happy that your dad is better. :)

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  17. Anonymous1:28 PM

    Great news about your Dad, especially considering all the darkness you've dealt with lately. I'm really glad to hear he (and you) are doing OK.

    J.

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  18. That's very good news. Make sure he sticks to that regimen. The first 90 days are the hardest, I understand :)

    And, again, you've provided a bit of advice I've never read elsewhere. Now, if I can only get my character out of China and get this story moving again!

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  19. Glad to hear your father will be considerably better very soon. my mother had quadruple bypass over the holidays, and now, just about 10 weeks later, she's back to her cantankerous self. Time for my vacation.

    Regarding the pay-out calendar advice. When I was just submitting to contest, I kept a pocket calendar (those freebies that always come into the office with the companies' advertising that you could get your company logo "here" as a "great marketing tool") No one ever claimed them. So I kept all due dates, contest dates, conference dates, check-back dates, etc, for anything related to my writing in it and in my writing bag.

    Now that I am a paid writer, I keep all the same information on a wall calendar next to my desk. I have two, one for scheduling family activities, and one for my writing activities.

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  20. I'm so glad to hear your dad is one the mend. Be sure to take care of yourself, too.

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  21. Glad to hear your dad is doing well. I hope for a speedy and smooth recovery for him.

    Thanks for the financial advice -- makes a lot of sense.

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  22. Glad to hear that your father is doing so much better.

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  23. Hey there,

    I haven't been around much either since it's nearing the end of term and exams--errgh, stress, but I am so, so glad to hear that your father is doing so well after the surgery.

    My grandma was having a lot of trouble with her heart a couple of years ago, and when they were able to put her on the right medication, my mom swears it took 10 years off her life she was so energetic.

    I'm glad you're working through your bout of depression, too, and are able to talk to open and honestly about it. Sometimes I worry that it'll hit me someday because it runs in my family, and I do have a tendency to become a complete introvert and superficially pretend that everything's hunky dory when it's not. So thank you for all of your hard work in keeping in touch with fans and talking about the big issues, and...

    I'm just so glad you're feeling better! :D

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  24. I'm glad to read your dad is doing better :)

    If I had to wait that long for a paycheck, I'd make myself nuts!

    Hang in there. Sometimes this is where families wear themselves out more than the patients.

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  25. Glad to hear your dad made it through the surgery, and he's on the mend!

    The paycheck this is kind of scary. I thought an agent would handle that kind of thing. I thought the payment went through the agent, then came to you. Shows what I know. *_* Very scary you have to remind the publisher to pay you!

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  26. So glad to hear the good news about your dad! And, thanks for the advice.

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  27. Jason9:21 PM

    I'm really glad to hear about your dad, Lynn.

    Heh heh, your comment about you and your mom acting like war generals gave me the mental picture of you and your mom wearing Army Helmets and standing over a picture of the food pyramid, "Alright, here's the plan. We start pumping them with grains. Once they're off balance, BAM! We throw in some fruits."

    Sorry, I just got off work, my minds a little frazzled.

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  28. Best wishes for your father's recovery.

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  29. Anonymous8:53 PM

    Color me relieved and grateful that your Dad is doing so well.

    Phew!

    Rebecca

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