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What to Do with Unwanted Collaboration Offers

December 31, 2019 by in category The Extra Squeeze by The Extra Squeeze Team tagged as , , ,

Dear Extra Squeeze Team,

 

My brother-in-law keeps sending me ideas for books.

 

He thinks I should write them and then share the profit with him (60% for him-40% for me—because he could crank them out if he just had the time, but he has a real job).

 

I’m so NOT interested.

 

I have tons of my own ideas and deadlines breathing down my neck. How to I get the jerk to leave me alone—besides skipping Thanksgiving and Christmas with the fam?

Rebecca Forster | Extra Squeeze

Rebecca Forster 

USA Today Bestselling author of 35 books, including the Witness series and the new Finn O’Brien series.

Been there done that! High five! Here are my go-to favs.

A) My attorney has advised me not to listen to anyone else’s story ideas to protect the both of us.

B) MY real job – writing – just doesn’t leave time for anything else. AND IF THAT DOESN’T WORK…

C) I’d love to talk about it. The minimum fee for ghostwriting is $25,000 but you’re family. I’ll do it for $20,000. He should let you know when the check is in the mail.

Jenny Jensen | A Slice of Orange

Jenny Jensen

Developmental editor who has worked for twenty plus years with new and established authors of both fiction and non-fiction, traditional and indie.

60/40?! His ideas are mostly in the fantasy realm, right?

What’s a ‘cool idea’ and what’s a ‘premise’? There’s a world of difference between those two and the success of each depends on how well a writer spins them into a story. Your bro-in-law needs a reality check. As Thomas Mann said, “The task of a writer consists of being able to make something out of an idea.”

I’m not much help with family advice but perhaps you could counter-challenge him. Offer a 70/30 split – with you at 70% – if he can flesh out one of his brilliant ideas to include plot details, dramatic arc, characterizations, atmosphere and killer resolution; say, 25 or 35 pages of concise, workable outline. If you feel what he offers is something you can work with it’s a possibility you may ‘write it’.

Perhaps that might help him understand where the lion’s share of work is in creating a novel. And it’s possible he’ll even learn that the original idea often morphs beyond recognition once the world building begins. Otherwise, maybe you just smile sweetly, remind him the world is full of grand ideas – remember Google Glass? – and pass him the sweet potatoes.

H. O. Charles | A Slice of Orange

H.O. Charles

Cover designer and author of the fantasy series, The Fireblade Array


Hahaha! Your brother-in-law sounds like the kind of person I cannot stand. There’s always one in the workplace (usually a boss) – the one who takes all the credit while the rest of us sweat and toil away. My advice is never allow yourself to be the swan’s feet unless you can guarantee recognition (advice you have already self-issued, anyway. Phew!). The best way to get him to leave you alone is to tell him someone else came up with a better story idea/better financial split, and that you are collaborating on a book with them instead.

Robin Blakely | The Extra Squeeze Team | A Slice of Orange

Robin Blakely

PR/Business Development coach for writers and artists; CEO, Creative Center of America; member, Forbes Coaches Council.

 

Oh dear.  Something is terribly awry here.  Perhaps it would help to re-frame the situation and look at it again from other angles.

Angle One:  Maybe your brother-in-law is not quite as big a jerk as you imagine.  Maybe he knows you are highly creative. Maybe you are the most creative person he has ever met.  Perhaps he realizes you could spin his big ideas into bankable gold….and truth be told, you probably could, if you wanted to.  Let’s be grateful that he sees some of your amazing potential.  But, why does he only offer you 40%?  Maybe he fully expects you to negotiate with him and he has established some wiggle room for himself.

Hey, anything is possible…sometimes we jump to conclusions about people before we consider all the possibilities.  And, then too, sometimes we know a jerk when we see one.

Angle Two:  Maybe your brother-in-law is an even bigger jerk than you imagine. Seriously, if he low balls members of his own family in business deals, imagine how he treats the rest of the world.  Not likely fabulous.  Entitled and exploitative are never a good mix…they are toxic.

Soooo…  what would I do if I were in your shoes?

I personally would consider skipping Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It seems to me that you need some time and space. The situation you described is less about the brother-in-law and more about you.  It sounds like you are feeling resentful and stressed, under-valued and pushed beyond your comfort level.  Forget about the the brother-in-law (jerk or not), focus on putting yourself front and center.  It seems to me that you need a chance to get ahead of all those deadlines breathing down your neck and focus on your own valuable ideas.  Let your brother-in-law’s wife figure him out.

The Extra Squeeze | A Slice of Orange

Ever wonder what industry professionals think about the issues that can really impact our careers? Each month The Extra Squeeze features a fresh topic related to books and publishing.

Amazon mover and shaker Rebecca Forster and her handpicked team of book professionals offer frank responses from the POV of each of their specialties — Writing, Editing, PR/Biz Development, and Cover Design.

Have you a question for The Extra Squeeze Team? Send them to us by using this handy link.

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And Happy September by Linda O. Johnston

September 6, 2019 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston tagged as , ,

Last month, I wished you all a happy August, the eighth month of the year. Guess what! It’s a month later.

And those deadlines I mentioned? I had to ask for an extension.

That’s a hard thing for me to do, although this time I perhaps could have anticipated it since the deadline for the book I’m working on now was a bit shorter than I usually agree to.  I thought, at the time, that I’d be able to meet it. But as September 1 grew closer, I realized I needed more time—which, fortunately, I got.

I’m certainly making progress, but I feel bad that more time was needed. How about you? Do you meet all your deadlines, for writing or anything else? Do you ever ask for extensions? If so, how do you feel about it?

Anyway, time marches on in other ways, too. It’s now closer to the release of my next book, the first of my Colton continuity series books for Harlequin Romantic Suspense.

Colton 911: Caught in the Crossfire is a November release. Looking forward to it!

~Linda


Books by Linda O. Johnston

BAD TO THE BONE

Buy now!
BAD TO THE BONE
COLTON 911: CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE
COLTON FIRST RESPONDER (The Coltons of Mustang Valley)

COVERT ALLIANCE

Buy now!
COVERT ALLIANCE

FOR A GOOD PAWS

Buy now!
FOR A GOOD PAWS

HER UNDERCOVER REFUGE

Buy now!
HER UNDERCOVER REFUGE

PICK AND CHEWS

Buy now!
PICK AND CHEWS

PROTECTOR WOLF

Buy now!
PROTECTOR WOLF

SECOND CHANCE SOLDIER

Buy now!
SECOND CHANCE SOLDIER

TO CATCH A TREAT

Buy now!
TO CATCH A TREAT

TRAINED TO PROTECT

Buy now!
TRAINED TO PROTECT

UNLUCKY CHARMS

Buy now!
UNLUCKY CHARMS

VISIONARY WOLF (Alpha Force)

Buy now!
VISIONARY WOLF (Alpha Force)
UNDERCOVERING COLTON’S FAMILY SECRETS

BEAR WITNESS

Buy now!
BEAR WITNESS
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I Came Up Blank

September 5, 2018 by in category Pink Pad by Tracy Reed tagged as , , ,

Facebook Ads| Tracy Read | A Slice of OrangeHappy September.  Hope you had a wonderful holiday.

I am stumped.  I’m in the middle of cleaning up a book which is due in to my editor by Saturday morning.  I thought I had a post I could replay, but when I checked my archive, I came up blank.

I couldn’t believe I didn’t have a post I could use.  Of course, I’m kicking myself, because it’s almost midnight and this will be going live in a few hours.  I could panic, but what would that accomplish…nothing.

So what should I talk about?  I could talk about the book I’m working on, but that could stress me out.  Although, I am very excited about this story.  I’m working on A Southern Gentleman Book Two.  It seems like the past couple of days I’ve been hit with quite a few interruptions or divine distractions as I like to call them.

I could talk about AutoCrit.com, but would anyone really want to read how excited I am about using it? Elena Dillon told me about this software.  I was a little hesitant at first, but now it’s my new best friend.  [I probably should have used it for this post].

When I did the test, I was very impressed.  Then after my trial period, I went all in. Wow.  It is something.  There were a few times when I wanted to scream, because some of the parts I liked, AutoCrit deemed as repetitious.  Those were some good lines, so I thought.

Using AutoCrit.com has pointed out things I hadn’t noticed.  I get pissed with some of the suggestions, and then I implement them. I have to admit the book reads better.  Let’s hope my editor agrees with me.

How am I using AutoCrit? Elena mentioned that she used it to polish her manuscript before sending it to the editor.  I opted to use it the same way this first time.  It takes a while to sift through the suggestions.  However, as much as I don’t want to admit it, my book does read better.  I’m seeing things I don’t think I would have in the past.

I could also talk about Swag.  The subject of swag is almost a cuss word in my house.  I am about to dip my toe in the swag pool and I’m overwhelmed.  Apart for bookmarks, lip balm, business cards and postcards? What to get?

I have a couple of events coming up and I haven’t got a clue what to giveaway.  These swag  items are different from what’s in my store.  In between edits, I’ve been reviewing swag.  Talk about overload and I like shopping and work in retail.  I’ve looked at everything from mints to pens to notepads to bags to mugs to door hangers.  And lest I not forget the infamous refrigerator magnet and button.

I feel confident sharing that after reviewing swag for the past several months, I really haven’t made a decision.

What do you do for event swag? 

Back to AutoCrit.

Au revoir

Tracy

 

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Out of the Fog

June 19, 2017 by in category On writing . . . by Jenny Jensen tagged as , , ,

Out of the fog | Jenny Jensen | A Slice of OrangeI force myself up out of this client’s really juicy manuscript. I’m deep into getting at the content problems and showing them clearly. That will provide the author with the ammunition to tackle her revisions and make this story sing the way it should – and I really want to hear it sing. Right now my head is in her world but yikes, I have a blog due in 24 hours and I’m lost in the fog. You know that fog; not quite writer’s block – I’m not paralyzed, I’m not frozen (been there, hated that). It’s writer’s block lite. I have a vague notion of what I want to convey but it’s all so foggy. I can’t see my way clear to set a single sensible word down.

I try my old standby – the ‘let ‘er rip’ technique. It’s always worked for me. Just open a document and go. It doesn’t matter what comes out: The sky is the most amazing chartreuse. It’s a great idea to re-roof the house with egg salad… You know, prime the pump. The brain starts to work after a while and the words start to flow and the ideas begin to coalesce. But this time my heart isn’t in it. After a sentence or two I’m back in the world of that manuscript and pondering the rose bush I really should trim. Let ‘er rip isn’t working. The clock is ticking. I’m starting to feel that rasty edge of panic. And then I find it! http://www.themostdangerouswritingapp.com/

“Don’t stop. If you stop typing for more than five seconds all progress will be lost.”

Those are the directions. I open it and there’s a pristine blank screen. Not only is the clock ticking, there’s a gun to my head. I’m typing like a crazed Barbara Cartland. Then my fingers freeze for 6 seconds. The screen fades to red. “You Failed” it tells me (well I had to see what happens). I go again and now my head is working and I know what I can share with you this month and I am so pleased that it is something of value. If that fog descends on you, if you find yourself scrambling before the keyboard, try The Most Dangerous Writing App. It will help you find your way out of the fog.   Thank you Manuel Ebert for this sadistically beautiful free app.

Jenny Jensen
Editor
www.e-bookeditor.com 


Jenny Jensen | A Slice of Orange

With a BA in Anthropology and English I pursued a career in advertising and writing and segued into developmental editing. It was a great choice for me. I love the process of creating and am privileged to be part of that process for so many great voices — voices both seasoned and new.

I’ve worked on nearly 400 books over 20 years, books by noted authors published by New York houses including Penguin, Kensington, Pentacle and Zebra as well as with Indie bestsellers and Amazon dynamos. From Air Force manuals and marketing materials to memoirs, thrillers, sci fi and romance, my services range from copyediting to developmental coaching.

Having worked in advertising and marketing, I am always cognizant of the marketplace in which the author’s work will be seen. I coach for content and style with that knowledge in mind in order to maximize sales and/or educational potential. My objective is to help the author’s material stand out from an ever more crowded and competitive field.

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Writer on the Verge of Deadlines

May 29, 2017 by in category Writer on the Verge by Kate Carlisle tagged as , ,

From A Slice of Orange Archives

 

Deadline Hell. I’m there.

It’s my first trip and I’m not liking it much. In fact, I’m going a little crazy.

I wish I could blog about something happy and carefree but I’m harried and nervous and can’t sleep, can’t think of anything but the book and how much more I need to write and how little time I have to do it. I’ve lost all peripheral vision. I can only focus on one little page, nothing else.

I’ve lost track of what’s happening on all my favorite TV shows.

I can’t read anything new. I’ve taken to re-reading old favorite books because I already know what happens and don’t have to focus too much on the story.

And I’m living on TV dinners. That can’t be healthy.

I spend most of my time in sweatpants, a big old work shirt and comfortable shoes. It’s not a good look for me.

So why am I always smiling? 🙂

Writer on the Verge of Deadlines

 

 

 

 

Kate Carlisle is always smiling because her first book, Homicide in Hardcover, from NAL, is now available everywhere!

Since this column was originally  posted in February 2009, Kate as gone on to publish over 20 books. You can get a complete list of her novels at Kate Carlisle Bibliography. Four of her newest titles are available below.

 



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