Staying on deadline

Leon Nefaykh over at the Observer has some very good advice for authors: with publishers’ budgets increasingly tight, don’t assume you can just get an extension if you miss your contractual deadlines. As we’ve all been telling clients over the last year, now is not the time to take for granted that you’ll retain your publisher’s goodwill if you can’t fulfill your obligations. Deliver on time, and if you’re concerned that you won’t be able to, talk to your agent right away so that we can try to work out an extension for you before you’re in breach. (As with all contractual matters, it’s important to come to us with this problem, not your publisher directly.)

But don’t leave that conversation for the last minute: you don’t want to find out a week before your due date that you’re nowhere near finished and going to have to meet the deadline or find your contract canceled—and your signing payment due back to the publisher.


6 Responses to Staying on deadline

  1. Barbara Martin says:

    I had heard of this happening before, but your reminder is timely under the budget constraints as stated.

  2. joelle says:

    Interesting article. Thanks for sharing. As a debut author, I can't believe how many times I've heard, "Oh, don't worry about your deadline" from published authors. I'm kind of a rule follower by nature, so I can't really imagine missing a deadline unless there was some sort of personal emergency, but many of my writer friends do, and don't worry about it at all, and so I just kind of assumed it was all okay. Not so much, after all!

  3. Tarra Slovan says:

    I say deadline shmeadline and that is why I'm not doing so well.

  4. gumbo writers says:

    Sorry to hear about your misfortune, Tarra. Deadlines can be tough to meet, but maybe you can set daily goals for yourself? Then you can reward yourself…I've always found that method helpful

  5. Anonymous says:

    I assumed deadlines were sacred, unless something really bad happened, like a serious illness or the sudden death of a loved one. I know of one author who benefitted from another author missing her deadline. Her debut novel came out about four months ahead of schedule.

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