SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

I've received a contract...how long can I wait to sign?

Discussion started on

New Poster
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region westcentny
I've received a contract for my picture book (and I am super excited!!) ...how long can I wait to sign? I've sent it to a lot of other publishers, and I have heard some can take up to 6 months!! Is it rude to wait a long time? I would think that publishers may be a little more patient since we are in a pandemic. Thanks for the advice!! - Hannah  :running
#1 - November 29, 2020, 04:47 PM

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region longislandny
The proper procedure is to tell other publishers you have interest and give them a time frame, usually a week or two, to get back to you. But think carefully about who you really want to work with and make sure their vision for the final book suits your vision. Don't keep the publisher that sent the contract waiting too long.

And, most importantly, happy sales to you!
#2 - November 29, 2020, 05:45 PM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
Twitter: @dvilardi1

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • **
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region midatlantic
First, congrats! Being offered a contract is a big deal!

But I agree with what Debbie said. Be certain this is a publisher you want to work with. Do they publish good quality books? Are they asking you for any money?  (If so, run. That is not a traditional publisher.)

If this is a publisher you do want to work with, send the other publishers an email with "OFFER on NAME OF BOOK" in the subject line. Then give them a deadline to respond to you, a week or two is normal. If they don't respond, consider it a NO and go ahead and sign the contract you have! You do not want to wait too long.

(If you are 100% certain that this is the publisher you want to work with, even if the other publishers offer, too, you could just sign the contract now and send an email withdrawing your submission.)
#3 - November 30, 2020, 05:50 AM
Freaky Funky Fish ( Running Press Kids, May 2021)
Tell Someone (Albert Whitman, October 2021)
Peculiar Primates (Running Press Kids, October 2022)

Children's Book Editor
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region nymetro
It's too late now, but for future reference, you should let any other potentially interested parties know *before* you receive a contract from a publisher.  Contact them as soon as you get a firm expression of interest. Publishers usually do not create contracts until after they've expressed interest AND heard back from the author that the author wants to go ahead....
#4 - November 30, 2020, 04:02 PM
Harold Underdown

The Purple Crayon, a children's book editor's site: http://www.underdown.org/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/HUnderdown

New Poster
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region westcentny
Thanks every one! Super helpful. I think I will do the email to the other publishers tmw, letting them know. Thank you!!
Hannah
#5 - November 30, 2020, 05:21 PM

Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region utahsouthidaho
Hannah, I am interested to know what you decided and how the process went for you. Also, congrats!
#6 - December 15, 2020, 05:40 AM

Members:

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.