Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Q & A 90 Should I work on my book without getting paid?
What is your feeling on requests for a writer to revise a novel multiple times before a contract? How often do you see these revision efforts pay off and end up with a contract at the house where the revisions were requested?
I have no stats on how often the work pays off with a sale, but this request isn't uncommon. It's more uncommon than a form rejection, however, so feel good about it. Once you've gotten enough form rejections, you'll consider revising anyway, so at least this publisher has pointed out a possible direction for those revisions. Which is not to say, do anything they ask. The following scorecard should help with your decision:
Are the requested revisions destroying your vision of the book?
Yes: 0 points
No: 20 points
Is this your dream publisher, one with whom you desperately want to get your foot in the door?
Yes: 20 points
No: 0 points
If you revise again and they reject, which version will you send to the next publisher?
The revised: 20 points
The old: 0 points
How much time and effort is involved?
Months of drudgery: 0 points
Hours doing what I love: 10 points
Do you have a more promising project you'd rather be working on?
Yes: 0 points
No: 10 points
Was the request made by a lieutenant or a general? (If the former, it'll still have to get past the latter.)
Lieutenant: 5 points
General: 10 points
How many more times are you willing to revise the novel for them, without blowing up their corporate headquarters if they ultimately reject it?
0: 0 points
1: 5 points
2: 10 points
Now add the total number of points for your answers.
30 - 100: Someone's interested in your book. Revise.
0-25: You're clearly fed up with these people, and are waiting for EE to give you permission to dump them. Permission granted. Now send it to someone else and get to work on your next book.