My Contract for Merm-8

Well, if you don't know I got offered a contract by a small press publisher for Merm-8.

Applause now.

It'll be in print and e-book form, although I don't think you'll be seeing it in Barnes & Noble. But without an agent, it's up to me, myself, and I (and the good people of various writing message boards) to review the contract and make sure they aren't crossing my i's and dotting my t's.

And they're not. To be honest, reviewing a contract is not as scary as I thought. It's worded in a way that I can understand it. Granted it's no huge contract with a huge publishing company asking for dozens of rights.  But from what I've gathered, they're small but honest, which is a big thing nowadays. Look at all the entries on Predators and Editors.

My biggest fear is that there is a bunch of stuff not spelled out in the contract that I don't know about that can be exploited. It's easy to set rules for what you can't do, but in the absence of rules about what you can do, the sky's the limit. All the things left unsaid.

But it looks like Merm-8 is going to become a real book! With editors and cover art (not designed by me) and everything. Finally, I'll get a chance to learn how a professional book is put together. It may fly under the radar, but I can point people to it, put it on my bookshelf and say "I made this. People read it."

So why aren't I happy?

This is exactly what I wanted - to be published. Maybe it's because I don't have an agent in my corner, it doesn't feel like I'm up there with the big boys and girls. I'm playing in the sandbox while they occupy all the cool things like the tire swing and big twisty slide.

Maybe because it means now that there's a book, I have to do some promotion, some assertive peripheral work around it, which doesn't excite me. It's real now. It even took me a few days to get brave enough to open the contract and actually read it.

Maybe I'm just clinically depressed.

As you can tell from past entries, I haven't been feeling well lately. Maybe not enough sleep. Maybe I'm getting sick of my position in life. At this point I think, even if I won a Hugo, I wouldn't be happy. Maybe that means I shouldn't be a writer? But I like telling stories. Maybe I'm one of those guys where wanting isn't so much a thing as having.

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