The contract for Ron came in the mail late yesterday. My timeline of a signed contract was right on. Ron will be published by Dutton Children's Books, a division of Penguin Group (USA), spring of 2007. The contract is 11 pages thick! Technically, as of this past September, I have no literary agent. I’m on my own this time. I'm no specialist when dealing with legalities, however, I've seen enough of these, and had enough conversations with former agents that I sort of know what to look for. The thing is, my agents NEVER accepted a contract on the first round, so although at first glance, it looks fine to me, I'm feeling like I need to be picky about something...on general principal. I don't know. The cool thing is that I’ll receive a very nice bonus once the book is actually published. I've never had that in a contract before. I mean, after I've been paid my final advance, I'll get an additional bonus once the books show up on store shelves. Cool.
Also received the manuscript and proposed layout for Justin (sketches due in three weeks). This will be a 10-page story as part of a basal reading program. Harcourt has given me the choice between a work-for-hire contract, or a school rights only contract. Do I know what difference? No, not really. But I’ve always been advised to run from work-for-hire agreements, and my gut feeling tells me that a school rights only contract would offer more flexibility should a trade, mass market, or magazine publisher want to pick this story up.
I’m also finishing up my animal lovers t-shirt designs which will be licensed to Austin Cotton. Iroic, huh, if you’ve ever read my thoughts about animals. Anyway, I'll post pics later this week.