My BIL, I'll call him N, has offered to 'publish' my book free of charge and pay me some contributor's copies...promising to do local marketing too. Now, see this, he's not read anything and only knows bare descriptions of my wips. Now, I've discussed this with Ann Crispin and we agree this isn't cred, but my question is this. IF I had something that fit his requirements (basically around 120 pages), would it hurt me to let him publish it. Would a future agent ask me why I would do something like that?
N is a relatively smart person, but apparently doesn't know anything about manuscript prep...for example, he says that's 120 pages single spaced, 'which is closer to what the book will actually look like' to quote him.
He wants to start is micro-press with a work from me and one from him.
I probably won't be able to accommodate him, because everything I have is over 120 pages...even single spaced...I'm talking real cutting here.
Should I throw something to him? Recommend he read something current from me? (last thing was at least six years ago) Or beg off?
It's not going to kill you but why would you do this?
The first question I always ask on any deal offered is "what's in it for me".
This isn't cause I'm selfish (well, I am selfish but that's not the reason I ask).
I ask cause there MUST be give and take or it's a favor, and favors have a way of being one sided on things like this, and you end up resentful.
The other thing I ALWAYS ask on deals is "what's in it for the other guy".
If I can't see how he's going to make money, or build a business or do something reasonably productive, I don't participate cause why would I consign intellectual property to the shredder aka throwing away money.
I'm all in favor of start up businesses, and I'm all in favor of micro presses, and I love and respect the people with entrepreneurial spirit. That doesn't mean I think they walk on water and can do no wrong. No no. You have a small start up press and I want to know you know a thing or two about what you're doing. I pay very close attention to what they say, what questions they ask, and how they propse to learn what they don't know. Absent that, go learn on someone else's intellectual property.
To answer your actual question: no, this won't come back to haunt you most likely but you want to make sure you have a written contract with this guy. A REAL one. If you need draft language, I'll give the name of someone who can help you.