7.20.2005

Day 3: the Day Timer Confessions

Talk about endless bloody useless waste of time.
Time to put on the bunny slippers and go to bed because tommorow has just got to be better.

8:00am Miss Snark is not caffeinated, nor awake. She is however on the telephone.
This is not a good sign. People who do not understand Miss Snark's office hours should rot in ..I dunno...Jerry Springer's green room maybe.

8am is early afternoon for our German friends and this call was from a potential client who lives in Germany. I've been able to send her some translation job leads but her work has never been quite right for my list. She's calling now to double check on some details. Phone call: 20 minutes. Glad she's paying.

8:30 am coffee. More phone. Sorting out art work on a project. Downloading pdf files and photoshop files and printing things. This was supposed to be really simple. Why isn't it?
Inevitably I end up printing things four times because I see things on paper that I haven't seen on the screen.

9:00 am Back to client files. Follow up on a myriad of details. This is the job that takes three hours on a Monday, and today takes 45 minutes.

10:00 am phone call with a client who just needs reassurance.

10:15 am...oh great. A publisher failed to register a copyright. This is basically meaningless but it's yet ANOTHER example of a small publisher who is disorganized and cutting costs in all sorts of stupid ways. I've searched the copyright office website. Neither my author, nor her title are there. I call the copyright office. I've dealt with them on public domain issues before and sing their praises. They are fast, they are polite, they are helpful. They are like librarians. I'd like every single tax dollar I shell out to go directly to them.

I download the forms for registering the copyright. I call the publisher to ask if Im just missing something.

Copyright is in place from the moment the work is created. Not registering with the copyright office doesn't mean the author is not protected. What it does mean is that if some scummy skanky beast lifts her work, she can't collect damages. She can file a lawsuit to have his work removed from the marketplace, but damages require copyright registration.

It costs all of $30. This small publisher isn't the first to skip out on this stuff. I read about a MAJOR publisher doing the same several months ago. Now it's just one of the things I check about six months after a book is published. Dot the i's, cross the t's. It's why having an agent is more than just making sales.

11:45 fuck. A prospective client calling about the offer. I told her to consult a publishing attorney. She consulted a "contracts lawyer". Those people think it's their job to find every possible place a contract could go wrong. Well folks. Shit happens. You can't write a contract that makes it impossible for that to happen. Im not going to have a paragraph included that says I wont steal your money. If you think that's even a remote possibility, sign elsewhere.
And if I take leave of my senses and do steal your money, file a criminal complaint. It's AGAINST THE LAW. You don't need a contract with me to spell that out any more than you need one that says I won't kill you. Well...on the other hand.

Maybe she'll get with the program, maybe not. Im not paying MY lawyer $350 an hour to review suggested changes from anyone. This is the old take it or leave it. I"ll explain what it means to you but I"m not changing it.

1:00pm This conversation is over and Im in shreds. I hate this kind of stuff. I read the news feeds and blog to relieve my snarkiness. You can tell when Im crabby. There are five posts in an hour.
1:15pm LUNCH...carbs are soothing. Bread and hummas are medically required today. So is this cookie. And that cookie too. And the chips.

2:00pm Mail call. Oh good, a fuckwit sent me all THREE of her iUniverse books. And a letter saying she's researched the agency. Ya right. NO.
16 query letters...16 SASE's.
16 NO.
For more discussion on SASE's see "Stamp THIS" below. I've decided to go back to throwing away letters that don't have them.

3:00pm Latest draft arrives of a nf book I seriously hoped was finished. Newp. I'll be reading and doing mark up for the rest of the night. It's soothing focused work, and it's finishable work. At the end, it's done, I can mail it back and have a sense of accomplishment. Every other thing today was some form of treading water, and those days are just harsh.

Miss Snark 0 World 1

10 comments:

Pam said...

No. World 1, Miss Snark 5.

Your pain is my gain. I almost spit my strawberry margarita on the screen at least three times. And I hate to waste strawberry margaritas.

Thanks for the giggles. Obviously, the worse your day is, the funnier you get.

Paul Jessup said...

Do you have an RSS feed I can subscribe too?

Miss Snark said...

Dear Mr Jessup,
I don't even know what an RSS feed is, let alone have one. Does it come with instructions? Can you buy one at the liquor store? All info appreciated.

Paul Jessup said...

An RSS feed lets very lazy readers (like me) get all of the latest blog updates at once. I did some research, and you don't have an RSS feed, but you do have an Atom feed, which is just as good. It is available here (all blogger.com users' have one):

http://misssnark.blogspot.com/atom.xml

Information on RSS and ATOM:

http://www.mezzoblue.com/archives/2004/05/19/what_is_rssx/

I am completely addicted to these things.

Sorry to hijack the blog there.

LT said...

Im new to reading these blogs (they were suggested reading by another writer), but I agree with Ms.Pam, your day is both hectic and cramped-stomach funny.

ScaramoucheX said...

Are blog posts protected in any way? Informally copyrighted, the moment they are written? Are all blog posts available for anyone to use in any way they want? For example: if I want to publish an e-mail conversation I had with someone, embedded in a work of fiction, could I do that without their permission? Could someone read what I've written and take it for their purposes? I wonder...

Miss Snark said...

I don't know. Letters on paper are the property of the recipient generally, and written work is the property of the writer.

Electronic rights are covered somehow but I just haven't ever had to ask about blog content.

Someone knows though, and I'll be the National Writers Union does too. NWu.org I think.

ScaramoucheX said...

Thanks for the answer...because I was inspired by a blog a person of my (internet) acquaintance keeps, and I realised that through her written work I could know her as a character who could dance about in my fictions...and then I wondered about the blurring of lines, boundaries, whether or not she intends her postings to be read as a real, in-the-world-record of her life, or is it the work of imagination? And do we have to read blog entries as 'truth' and fact? And is the discovery of inspiration in the works of another, license to use their identities imaginatively? For example: how is meeting a person in a tavern and having a conversation with them and feeling inspired to write them and what they said into one's work, different from e-mail, chat, MSN, blog knowing? Anyway, thanks for the NWU tip...

Miss Snark said...

I once had a lovely long wine soaked dinner with a wonderful novelist. We traded war stories. Laughed, cackled, ate great dessert, managed to not fall into bed with each other given he was married and Miss Snark is a nun to literature.

Some time later...like two years... Miss Snark read Mr Author's latest book. And there was Miss Snark's story. Artfully novelized of course cause life IS stranger than fiction.

I was thrilled. I telephoned. Mr Author had no clue that he'd heard this from me.

It's ALL grist for the mill baby.

I consider Mr Author's book a lovely tribute to my story telling abilities. Sadly, no royalties accrue.

But he did win an award!

Dhewco said...

According to Writer's Digest (can't remember what month), the writer (sender) of email and snail mail have all copyright, um, rights.

In other words, if you wrote a book about with these bad querys in it, you'd have to obtain permission from the writer of the letters. By sending them to you, the writer doesn't give you rights.

David