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Hello,
I too would like to join a critique group. If any such group still has space for one more, here's my email address: gawein.lander@gmail.com
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Good luck. And do keep us posted and ask whatever you need to. That's why these boards exist.
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Thank you all again for the insights and encouragement.  I will attempt not to panic  ::-)

In line with all of your wonderful advice, I will continue to try and fight -- professionally and respectfully -- for a version of the book I'm happy with. Hopefully it will turn out better than I'm imagining, and if it doesn't I'll try to remember that it's not necessarily the end of the world.

Though maybe if it's really bad I can just bury all the copies in the desert like they did with that E.T. Atari game that flopped in the 80s...

I'm currently working on a few other writing projects and shopping around some other finished works, so that does help. It at least makes me feel like I don't have all my eggs in one basket.

Anywho, it's really great to have this community and I very much appreciate you all taking the time to share your thoughts. Hopefully I haven't bugged you with too many panicked posts over the past few days... :typing though I'm guessing I may be back on here with more questions depending on how things turn out with the editor going forward.

 :love5
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then you give it to some gatekeeper with dollar signs who suddenly has a say in it even though they have nothing to do with it?
On the plus side, probably more than 50% of the time something that gets translated into film results in a bump in sales for the book on top of the $$$$ you got for the option. It's the rare film that can incorporate everything in the book, even if the author also does the screenplay, "True Confessions" (the 1981 film, not the TV show) being one stellar example (definitely not a kid book or movie! but it's the first one that came to mind).
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What if it does end up being a waste of my debut and there's nothing I can do about it? Will it ruin my writing career before it even starts?

No, "ruin" is too strong. Laurel's response to this question is right on. 

If your goal is to publish with Big 5 or a major independent, I would now turn to writing and polishing at least three (3) new PB projects and then think about querying agents. (Agents will want you to have more than one project ready.) Most agents will look at what you're showing them, and if they love it enough (and think they can sell it), won't be concerned about your first book. You are far from the first writer to start out with a deal that might not be ideal (then again, your conversation with the editor could make THIS deal take a turn for the better, too).

Novelists have no control over movies. (Nor do PB writers have control over illustrators, who get to bring their own vision to the text.) Those who buy movie rights have every right to change things up for the very different art form that is a film. Novelists who sell movie rights know this -- or very quickly find it out. Sometimes novelists get yelled at by the general public over the actors that get cast to play the characters -- but they have NO say in any of that. The only way to keep complete control is to not sell any rights. 
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Somebody please remind me that this industry can be wonderful and gratifying sometimes, and not just soul crushing... :bluesad

[/quote]

No worries---here's your reminder! Seriously, it can be wonderfully gratifying--and knowing you've touched young readers' hearts is so special. We've all been to the gates of the fiery pit of Rejectionland and have made it back---truly. Take heart, CUDO---Chin Up, Dust Off! Please know you have plenty of company on this journey, and this community has your back all the way! :grouphug
With aloha,
Tori :palmtree :pizza :books3

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Picture Books (PB) / Re: working with a PB author
« Last post by Vijaya on July 01, 2021, 03:38 PM »
:welcome Suzanne.  Most people keep money matters private so the information isn't readily available. Here are some helpful threads for your perusal and I hope there's a link for a sample contract. Otherwise, try an author's or illustrator's guild to see if there's one. You definitely want to have a formal agreement, terms of payment (half upon signing, half upon completion), rights to use, etc.

https://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php?topic=65417.0
https://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php?topic=65291.0
https://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php?topic=65310.0

I hope this puts you on the right track. Consider the time this book might take and decide what your time is worth. I try to shoot for $50/hr but sometimes, the research itself will bring down my rate to $25/hr. I've gotten better at estimating and I won't take anything below $20/hr unless it's a project I lovelovelove. Good luck! Oh, I'm not an artist, only a writer.
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Oh dear, try not to panic. Heck, my first submission and acceptance was to poetry.com which was a total scam--when I saw some of the other poems that were going to be published in that book (which would cost $50 to buy) I wised up. When you're new, you often don't have much to leverage and you have to take what you can get--this is on the business side of things. But when it comes to the creative side, the making of the actual book, your editor has the same goal as you--make it the BEST book! So keep that in mind. Sometimes you will differ in your vision and this is why it's so important to communicate that the changes are mutually acceptable. Try to relax! Enjoy some bbq and :fireworks Celebrate!

Btw, I've never read The Shining but I think Jack N. gives a masterful performance. He is naturally scary-looking so acting psychotic fits him so well. I love that scene where he's typing...
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My point is not that I'm Stephen King or anything (obviously), but I mean, is this just how this industry works? You slave away at your desk trying to get everything just right, and then you give it to some gatekeeper with dollar signs who suddenly has a say in it even though they have nothing to do with it?

It's not that bad. Novelists often have little (or no) say in how a movie adaptation turns out, and they might not have much say in things like covers and formatting, but the text is different. At least in my experience, the author usually maintains a lot of control here, although things might go badly if the editor and the author can't see eye to eye. As has been pointed out already, some small presses might work differently.

What if it does end up being a waste of my debut and there's nothing I can do about it? Will it ruin my writing career before it even starts?

Debuts can get a lot of attention, so it's good to get off to a strong start. But I have seen authors who published badly and then went on to bigger and better things, and I've seen authors with books that tanked who still got future book deals. Your sales record matters, but so does your next book.

I'm sure this is stressful, but try not to panic. Try to work with your editor to make sure this book is something you're happy with. Then focus on writing and selling your next book.
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Oh man, now I kind of feel like the world's biggest noob/idiot  :slaphead

What if it does end up being a waste of my debut and there's nothing I can do about it? Will it ruin my writing career before it even starts?

Generally I really trust my teacher's advice since we've been working together for almost two years and she's been such an incredible resource all this time. But I wonder if in this case,  her advice was coming from the way the writing world worked back in the 80s, during her beginnings.

Honestly, without much experience of my own, it's really hard for me to figure out whose advice to take sometimes.

Sigh.

I recently read The Shining for the first time and thought it was the most incredible piece of writing to ever come out of a person's mind. Then I saw the movie, and was absolutely livid when I saw how Stanley Kubrick basically just stole Stephen King's beautiful idea and turned it into something that didn't even resemble the original. Like, not even a little bit.

My point is not that I'm Stephen King or anything (obviously), but I mean, is this just how this industry works? You slave away at your desk trying to get everything just right, and then you give it to some gatekeeper with dollar signs who suddenly has a say in it even though they have nothing to do with it?

I mean, sheesh. Writing is hard enough to begin with.

Somebody please remind me that this industry can be wonderful and gratifying sometimes, and not just soul crushing... :bluesad
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