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Keep Your Contracts

I've been sorting through my past publications with an eye to putting some of them up on AnthologyBuilder, and let me tell you, trying to chase down electronic contracts in a mail archive that is tens of thousands of messages long is NOT FUN. (Yes, I can search on the title of the story, but given the number of different markets some of these stories were submitted to, that is only marginally helpful.)

So. A word of advice. If you intend to ever be moderately prolific as a writer, SAVE YOUR CONTRACTS. Not only that, but you should create a special mail folder for them and dutifully transfer messages there as soon as they arrive.

You may also want to set up a quick-reference sheet so that when an editor contacts you about reprint rights (and they do start doing that, eventually) you can easily tell whether a story's exclusivity period has expired. An Excel sheet is also helpful for tracking whether you've received payment for published stories. (Yes, you should keep track. Publishers are generally honest, but they are also occasionally disorganized.)

My sales log includes the following information:

Story Title
Format (Text, Audio, etc.)
Purchaser
Date of Sale
Payment Amount
Contract Received?
Payment Received?
Expected pay date (on acceptance, on publication, etc.)
Publication Date
Exclusivity expiration date
Word Count
Genre

I know it sounds unbelievable if you're just starting out, but after you have about ten published stories, it's hard to keep track of who bought what when, and how long it was. The Excel file is a lifesaver when it's time to start talking about reprints.

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Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
dr_phil_physics
Feb. 16th, 2011 09:21 pm (UTC)
Ditto.

I'm just running into that problem itself. Worse, some of my contracts are hardcopy only -- and which pile of papers did they get tossed into? Are they still in their envelopes or not?

Sigh. My bad.

Dr. Phil
nancyfulda
Feb. 16th, 2011 11:15 pm (UTC)
Oh, don't even talk to me about dead-tree contracts. I swear, I'm going to start scanning them just so I can find them again. Grr.
melissajm
Feb. 16th, 2011 10:54 pm (UTC)
Good advice. Thanks.
samhenderson
Feb. 17th, 2011 01:16 am (UTC)
This is such good advice. The email folder seems obvious, but I hadn't thought of that!
j_cheney
Feb. 17th, 2011 02:02 am (UTC)
I have a file cabinet where I keep all the contracts and the reviews, too. Will stop that eventually, I suspect.
nancyfulda
Feb. 17th, 2011 09:08 am (UTC)
Ooh -- cataloguing reviews is a good idea. I think I'm going to start doing that.

I've started a separate mail folder for fan letters, too. Mostly to stoke my ego, I guess, but I also figure that if I ever finish That Dang Novel, some of those people might appreciate a personal note about it.
j_cheney
Feb. 17th, 2011 01:21 pm (UTC)
Yes...those are nice to have when you have a multi-rejection day!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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nancyfulda
nancyfulda

Publications

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The Death and
Rebirth of
Anne Bonny

and other stories

amazon | kobo | barnes & noble | iTunes | Audible







Backlash
a novelette

amazon | kobo | barnes & noble | iTunes | Audible







That Undiscovered Country
Jim Baen Memorial
Award Winner


paperback | kindle | nook | PDF | Other





Movement
2011 Nebula Nominee

Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, March 2011

paperback | kindle | nook | smashwords





The Breath of Heaven
Stories from Distant Worlds

paperback | kindle | nook | smashwords






In the Halls of the Sky-Palace
Jim Baen's Universe, June 2009

kindle | nook | smashwords





Backlash (novelette)
Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, 2010

kindle | nook | smashwords





The Man Who
Murdered Himself

Phobos Award Winner

kindle | nook | smashwords





Dead Men Don't Cry:
11 Stories by Nancy Fulda


Paperback | kindle | nook | smashwords | DRM-free






Nothing This Fun Could be Good for You (article)
Available at:
Clarkesworld Magazine





Like Rain From Silver Skies
Available at:
Basement Stories





Knowing Neither Kin Nor Foe
Available at:
Beneath Ceaseless Skies


Nancy Fulda is a 2012 Hugo and Nebula Nominee, a Phobos Award winner and a Vera Hinckley Mayhew Award recipient. She is the first (and so far only) female recipient of the Jim Baen Memorial Award. Her fiction has appeared in a number of professional venues.

Nancy Fulda is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

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