Thursday, 30 July 2009

Champagne and contracts

Big big day today…I signed my contract. I actually signed to the sound of popping champagne* corks – I was at my lovely agent’s office, and they had received a crate of champagne from a hugely successful author, thanking them for everything they’d done for his latest mega-best-selling book. So maybe it will bring me luck.

Anyway, here are eleven random things I love about my contract (champagne and wine was taken**, so I can only write in lists or tweets right now)

1. It is a contract! From a publisher! Who wants to publish my books! Etc etc etc
2. It gives capitals to all sorts of random words like Work and World and Author, which gives it a lovely eighteenth century flavour.
3 There’s a bit which talks about the publisher selling the book in English ‘throughout the World’ which makes me imagine them trundling on and off old fashioned sailing boats and into sleds, racing across the snow or onto camels in the desert; trying to hawk my book in exotic locations.
4 There are all these bits which look like maths questions…discounts…blah, blah…royalties…. which I don’t have to worry about because that is what my agent is for. Phew.
5 I am going to get fifteen free copies. Form a line, family and friends.
6 There’s an entertaining section which goes into all the ways this Agreement might be delivered: by hand, by first class post - on the second working day after posting (you’ll be lucky in London) - or ‘any other method’. Like…errr….helicopter? Dog?
7 The royalty seems to be a little bit higher for copies sold in the US. Buy Americans! Buy!
8 There’s a little section which suggests it might be sold door to door. I can't actually remember seeing any book sold in this way, but bring it on!
9 If I understand it correctly it could be translated into Braille free of charge.
10 The contract for Almost True talks about a due date, which cracked me up. And said date is two months later than I had thought. Thankfully.
11 If I die before completing Almost True, someone will do it for me, which is a big weight off my mind.

*I know – as every journalist should – that you write Champagne with a capital C, or you get angry letters from the Champagne growers’ lawyers. But it looks wrong. And they won’t read blogs will they? Anyway it was very nice.
** and my grasp on basic grammar has collapsed as a result


  1. Congratulations. You must be feeling fantastic!

  2. It's a funny thing because the deal was done ages ago - February in fact - and I've got to the point of seeing it in book form, so you wouldn't have thought that the actual contract would be such a thrill. But it really was. And of course the champagne helped!