Blogger: Rachel Kent
Location: Books & Such main office, Santa Rosa, Calif.
It’s sometimes easy to lose track of the real reason we’re doing this work of writing books, publishing books, and publicizing what’s been published. I’ve seen a number of instances lately that caused me to realize I need to be reminded just why I do what I do.
This series might not be for everybody. If you write for the general market, you probably don’t have much to do with the CBA market (Christian Booksellers Association). If you do write for or work in the CBA market, you might be doing just fine in all of these areas, but here’s a reminder to myself as much as to anyone else.
Day One: Honoring Contracts
“God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind.
Has he ever spoken and failed to act?
Has he ever promised and not carried it through?” Numbers 23:19 (NLT).
Let’s all remember to try to be like God when it comes to contracts. His word is good. You never have to doubt his promises. That’s how we as Christians should strive to act as well. Yes, we are human and will make mistakes and will fail due to life circumstances, but let’s stop using our humanity to excuse our actions.
I have heard recently of a few Christian authors who have paid very little attention to what they’ve agreed to in their contracts. Failing to turn in books by deadline. Failing to do the promised publicity that helped get them contracted in the first place. Failing to write a quality project. And so many other scenarios. In doing this they have created a lot of strife for the publishing houses they’re contracted with and their agents as well. Their actions have damaged reputations and relationships.
I’ve also heard stories about some Christian publishing houses that ignored contracts and went ahead with publishing ebooks they didn’t have rights to. And some Christian publishing houses have refused to honor the return of rights paragraphs in the contracts creating huge ordeals over something that should be very simple.
I’ve heard of Christian agents who pretend that multiple publishers are interested in a project to ratchet up the price. Or who advise clients to break previous commitments when they receive contract offers that conflict with previous agreements that won’t pay as much money.
Situations like these should not exist in Christian publishing. We can’t change the way other people work, and we can’t change that we are human, but I hope all of you will join me in working hard to honor our contracts and promises.
Are you with me? 🙂