Jennifer’s Believe It or Not

Today’s Episode: Why We Love Media Titles

A peculiar turn of events. A book has appeared on Amazon.com. It has a publication date. It even has cover art. What it does not have is an outline approved by the Licensor (an email from the client involved today said the last few kinks were in the process of being worked out). What it also lacks is a contract. That’s right. The publisher has listed a book that is not yet bought. There’s not even an offer on the table. (I’m rather hoping there will be one soon.) This industry is such an odd place to live.

11 responses to “Jennifer’s Believe It or Not

  1. OK, I am seriously curious…..

  2. I take it this is one from your stable?
    How bizarre!

    • Yep – this is a book I may, at some point, sell before it’s published. *wry look* The client has gone seven (yes, seven!) rounds on the outline with the Licensor. I feel a bit sorry for the editor in the middle. And you can see why I love media titles so much. They are so fun!

  3. Forgive a newbie question: who is the Licensor? The publisher or the author or someone else?

    • That *can* get confusing – even when you’ve done quite a few of these sorts of deals. Here’s an example:
      For Star Trek novels:
      The Licensor is Paramount
      The Publisher is Pocket (Simon & Schuster)
      The Author is, say, Peter David
      The Publisher licenses the property from the Licensor, who generally has approval of both the authors selected and the storylines they propose. Hence, the 7 outlines in this case before we even get to contract.

  4. I would call that a Poor Negotiating Position for that poor editor.
    Does it have a manuscript?

  5. This is, alas, not at all uncommon. I have been announced as author for at least a half dozen projects that I never signed contracts for and, in the end, never reached an agreement to do. But, once a title is assigned an ISBN with you listed as author, it’s darned difficult to get places to stop listing it, even if the book never exists. (And, since an agreement wasn’t reached with the publisher, they’re not looking to go out of their way to make me happy by trying to put pressure to have the book de-listed, either.)
    Sigh.

  6. I see you like coffee. Have you tried Senseo yet? I fell in love with it in The Netherlands last year.

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