FEEDBACK SOUGHT

So…

If you’re reading this, you’re one of a small number of people in the world who can read it. FEEDBACK REALLY APPRECIATED ON THIS ONE.

A prominent figure in the world of fire circles, and a published author, who shall remain nameless but whose initials are O.Z-R. just asked me if he could publish the October Full Moon Sonnet, which of course is part of this series I’ve been sending out on Mystery Tribe, the SpiritFire List, the TurtleTribe list, and elsewhere. I wrote back to him and mentioned that there was a whole series of these poems, connecting the sabbats and esbats.

And he asked for the whole set. He’s working on a book project, you see, a collection of poetry and ritual resources associated with the quarter days, cross-quarters, and Esbats, a project set to begin in January and conclude around Beltane. As he put it, “this is a small project, and there wouldn’t be a payment for any of the contributors except in authors’ copies.”

Now. On the one one hand, it’s nice to be noticed by the big boys, and to have my work singled out for publication. On the other hand, it’s more than a little aggravating to me that I’ve spent a year thinking and planning this project, and the projected reward for a year’s worth of work is “authors’ copies”, meaning that someone else gets the profit and I get shafted.

I’m a published author. OK. It’s role-playing game credits. But still, I get paid $0.05 a word, and this “Great Year” project now amounts to over 7,000 words. Another four sonnets and three other pieces in the planned collection, and it will be 8,000 words or so, fifty pages of poetry or thereabouts. O-Z’s name will sell lots of copies, and I’ll get noticed — and forgotten. And unpaid. Or I can try to save this project until it’s several years in the making, and try to get it published under my own name… and in theory, either get paid or lose my shirt.

Are these poems, as I believe, worth holding out for a united publication, as a complete “system”? Or should I allow them to be integrated into someone else’s project? Or should I give him rights to the October Sonnet alone as a way of building overall interest in my project? Anyone have any thoughts at all on this?

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22 comments

  1. Your life is moving faster than I can read up on it 🙂

    Add mine to the chorus of voices who say “give him one sonnet, retain all rights, demand full, on-page acknowledgement (in contrast with an appendix entry that says “October on page 94182 was written by Andrew”

  2. Your life is moving faster than I can read up on it 🙂

    Add mine to the chorus of voices who say “give him one sonnet, retain all rights, demand full, on-page acknowledgement (in contrast with an appendix entry that says “October on page 94182 was written by Andrew”

    • Your life is moving faster than I can read up on it 🙂

      I could say the same thing to you about your life.

      The on-page acknowledgement is good, too. That’s important to me.

  3. Thanks for the advice and the warning.

    I’ve posted a second thing related to this — it’s the letter I’m planning on sending. What do you think about that?

  4. I think he’s sketchy from dealings he’s had with myself and my friends.

    Were it me, I’d say a taste is all he gets, then you publish your work as planned, under your own steam, reaping your own benefits.

    love,
    -t.

  5. I think he’s sketchy from dealings he’s had with myself and my friends.

    Were it me, I’d say a taste is all he gets, then you publish your work as planned, under your own steam, reaping your own benefits.

    love,
    -t.

  6. Give him a taste….

    I would allow him to use the sonnet he originally requested, with proper credit of course. Keep the rest for yourself, but make sure you *do* publish them someday…..you could say “as seen in OZs book!”

    You worked too hard to pop your wad in someone else’s format…they will be better appreciated in their own container. (I want a signed first edition)

    He published one of my rituals in some grimoire or other a couple years back, and I never got a thank you, let alone an author’s copy.

  7. Give him a taste….

    I would allow him to use the sonnet he originally requested, with proper credit of course. Keep the rest for yourself, but make sure you *do* publish them someday…..you could say “as seen in OZs book!”

    You worked too hard to pop your wad in someone else’s format…they will be better appreciated in their own container. (I want a signed first edition)

    He published one of my rituals in some grimoire or other a couple years back, and I never got a thank you, let alone an author’s copy.

    • Re: Give him a taste….

      good to know about your ritual published and then ignored. I suspected something like that the moment I saw the request from him.

  8. Small project my ass.

    OK, so he won’t be selling them by the crateload down at Barnes and Noble the way Starhawk would, but come on! He will give credit where credit is due, but it’s going to be his name on the cover, not yours (you might get back cover credit).

    If you’ve got big plans for your sonnets, then you should stick to it. I don’t get the impression that this will translate into a bigger deal for your work.

    Now, letting him publish just the one might be really useful. That book will get into a lot of hands, people will see it and they may come looking for you, but beyond that…meh.

    later
    Tom

  9. Small project my ass.

    OK, so he won’t be selling them by the crateload down at Barnes and Noble the way Starhawk would, but come on! He will give credit where credit is due, but it’s going to be his name on the cover, not yours (you might get back cover credit).

    If you’ve got big plans for your sonnets, then you should stick to it. I don’t get the impression that this will translate into a bigger deal for your work.

    Now, letting him publish just the one might be really useful. That book will get into a lot of hands, people will see it and they may come looking for you, but beyond that…meh.

    later
    Tom

  10. were i in your position, i would be eager to allow him one poem for his anthology, but retain the rights for future publication – b/c you have a collection that would be entirely worthy to shop. please don’t cut yourself short, Andrew – you’ve worked hard & produced outstanding work that should be recognized under your name. noticed under his, perhaps, but recognized under yours.

    xoxoxox

  11. were i in your position, i would be eager to allow him one poem for his anthology, but retain the rights for future publication – b/c you have a collection that would be entirely worthy to shop. please don’t cut yourself short, Andrew – you’ve worked hard & produced outstanding work that should be recognized under your name. noticed under his, perhaps, but recognized under yours.

    xoxoxox

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