What do you all think?

What do you think?

Does this set the right tone for the letter? Is it properly couched in sufficiently legalistic language so it looks like I know what I’m talking about?


Dear XXXXXXXXXX,

I regret to hear that this project of yours is so small, and that you’re creating a mix-and-match kit.

The sonnet cycle of the full and new moons I’ve been writing, developing, and thinking about for two years is actually part of a much larger project that’s taken a number of years more. The result is a fairly complete set of writings appropriate to time of day, season of year, weddings, funerals and even specific weeks and days that amounts to approximately seventy or eighty pages to date, and more than ten thousand words.

Simply put, I will not turn over five or six years of work in exchange for author’s copies. I have my own plan in mind for them.

I am prepared to grant you the limited once-off right to publish the October Full Moon Sonnet as part of this specific collection you’re assembling, provided that I retain the overall copyright. If I am not paid, I ask for at least four author’s copies, since my standard writing contract specifies three copies when I’m paid.

I enclose my snail-mail address below if you are still interested in this arrangement.

38 comments

  1. Thanks. I did in fact use ‘s line rather than mine, and I posted the final edit in the comments of the letter. It’s gone from my hands at this point. I’m staying up a bit to see if he responds.

    Hope you are well.

  2. Here’s the final edit…

    It sounds like your project will be impressive. With so many contributors, it’s sure to represent a broad cross-section of the community. I’d like for my work to be represented, of course.

    However, the sonnet cycle of the full and new moons I’ve been writing, developing, and thinking about for two years is actually part of a much larger project that’s taken a number of years more. The result is a fairly complete set of writings appropriate to time of day, season of year, weddings, funerals and even specific weeks and days that amounts to approximately seventy or eighty pages to date, and more than ten thousand words.

    I cannot simply in good heart submit to your anthology a body of work spanning six years, which I feel should be published as a single volume. I think it’s worthy enough to deserve its own separate treatment.

    I am prepared to grant you the limited once-off right to publish the October Full Moon Sonnet as part of this specific collection you’re assembling, provided that I retain the overall copyright. If I am not paid, I ask for at least four author’s copies, since my standard writing contract specifies three copies when I’m paid.

    I enclose my snail-mail address below if you are still interested in this arrangement.

  3. Perhaps Luna *is* right about that first line. Potentially insulting beyond the pale.

    Maybe something like:
    “I regret to say that your project and my needs and expectations for publishing my work don’t entirely line up on this.” Or some sort of variant thereof ?

    And unlike (no offense), I would not soften the “I will not turn over five or six years of work” line. My feeling is why use verbal “butter” and cater to someone who is obviously using people in this way? I prefer to be honest and direct, without choosing to be angry and emotionally involved. Compassionate detachment. Right livelihood. Saying clearly and concisely.”this is what my boundaries are.”

    I believe that you are dead on in this.

    -Tess

  4. i like the second edit of that A LOT – i would be comfortable receiveing something like that.

    (i have to tell you – after ‘s comment:
    …” I regret to hear that your penis is so small and that you don’t know how to use it”, i read: …a broad cross-section of the… as …a broad scrotum of the… – clearly, my head is a little ridiculous. yikes!)

  5. Of course I’ll let you know how he responds. If he responds.

    I’ll alter the first line, or delete it entirely.

    Maybe…

    “It sounds like your project will be impressive. With so many contributors, it’s sure to represent a broad cross-section of the community. I’d like for my work to be represented, of course.

    However,” and on to the second paragraph.

  6. i might soften this:

    I will not turn over five or six years of work…

    just a little bit, to read:

    I cannot in good heart, submit to the anthology a body of work spanning six years, which I would like to see published as a single volume…

    too much sweetener?

  7. i might soften this:

    I will not turn over five or six years of work…

    just a little bit, to read:

    I cannot in good heart, submit to the anthology a body of work spanning six years, which I would like to see published as a single volume…

    too much sweetener?

  8. I like it all except the first line…It kind of reads like ” I regret to hear that your penis is so small and that you don’t know how to use it”

    The rest is very clear and well-put. I think this guy is used to people being a little star struck and submitting to his will blindly. (Like I think I did). This should be a little reality slap. Don’t be surprised if he refuses your offer.

    Let us know how he responds.

  9. I like it all except the first line…It kind of reads like ” I regret to hear that your penis is so small and that you don’t know how to use it”

    The rest is very clear and well-put. I think this guy is used to people being a little star struck and submitting to his will blindly. (Like I think I did). This should be a little reality slap. Don’t be surprised if he refuses your offer.

    Let us know how he responds.

    • Of course I’ll let you know how he responds. If he responds.

      I’ll alter the first line, or delete it entirely.

      Maybe…

      “It sounds like your project will be impressive. With so many contributors, it’s sure to represent a broad cross-section of the community. I’d like for my work to be represented, of course.

      However,” and on to the second paragraph.

      • i like the second edit of that A LOT – i would be comfortable receiveing something like that.

        (i have to tell you – after ‘s comment:
        …” I regret to hear that your penis is so small and that you don’t know how to use it”, i read: …a broad cross-section of the… as …a broad scrotum of the… – clearly, my head is a little ridiculous. yikes!)

        • Here’s the final edit…

          It sounds like your project will be impressive. With so many contributors, it’s sure to represent a broad cross-section of the community. I’d like for my work to be represented, of course.

          However, the sonnet cycle of the full and new moons I’ve been writing, developing, and thinking about for two years is actually part of a much larger project that’s taken a number of years more. The result is a fairly complete set of writings appropriate to time of day, season of year, weddings, funerals and even specific weeks and days that amounts to approximately seventy or eighty pages to date, and more than ten thousand words.

          I cannot simply in good heart submit to your anthology a body of work spanning six years, which I feel should be published as a single volume. I think it’s worthy enough to deserve its own separate treatment.

          I am prepared to grant you the limited once-off right to publish the October Full Moon Sonnet as part of this specific collection you’re assembling, provided that I retain the overall copyright. If I am not paid, I ask for at least four author’s copies, since my standard writing contract specifies three copies when I’m paid.

          I enclose my snail-mail address below if you are still interested in this arrangement.

    • Perhaps Luna *is* right about that first line. Potentially insulting beyond the pale.

      Maybe something like:
      “I regret to say that your project and my needs and expectations for publishing my work don’t entirely line up on this.” Or some sort of variant thereof ?

      And unlike (no offense), I would not soften the “I will not turn over five or six years of work” line. My feeling is why use verbal “butter” and cater to someone who is obviously using people in this way? I prefer to be honest and direct, without choosing to be angry and emotionally involved. Compassionate detachment. Right livelihood. Saying clearly and concisely.”this is what my boundaries are.”

      I believe that you are dead on in this.

      -Tess

      • Thanks. I did in fact use ‘s line rather than mine, and I posted the final edit in the comments of the letter. It’s gone from my hands at this point. I’m staying up a bit to see if he responds.

        Hope you are well.

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