I’ve been mired in contracts lately which means countless iterations of the same conversation:
Me: “We want X, Y, Z.”
Contracts director: “No. We can’t agree to that.”
Me: “If you don’t give it to us, we’ll walk.”
Contracts director: “Fine, we’ll give you X and Y, but you’ll have to pry Z out of our cold dead hands.”
Me: “What was Z again?”
Multiply this by three or four contracts a week, reams of e-mails, and some name calling, and you’ve got my life in a nutshell. At this point, the process is so predictable, I could create a flowchart that pretty much tells you the probable outcome of any negotiation. Which is what tickles me about this delightful infographic that Galleycat reposted yesterday.
As fast as the publishing industry is changing, some things remain wonderfully constant: Authors’ hopes and dreams either coming true or being crushed into oblivion; insiders trying to game the system; agents, editors and publishers working hard and failing roughly as much as professional baseball players; heavy drinking regardless.
You’d think we’d get bored. But really, it’s such a thrill when all the stars align and the editorial and development work, the tedious nitpicking of contract terms, and the snarky, despairing, bombastic communications result in a book you’re proud of (and which is sometimes profitable), that you end up just feeling grateful to be part of the process.
What’s your favorite part of the flowchart?