nancyfulda (nancyfulda) wrote,

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.)
Date of Sale
Payment Amount
Contract Received?
Payment Received?
Expected pay date (on acceptance, on publication, etc.)
Publication Date
Exclusivity expiration date
Word Count

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.
Tags: writing
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