Questions to ask when you get an offer (Also, WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?)

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So you have an offer to publish. Some questions to ask.

(With more help from my lawyer friend)

Una, remember that this is an offer. It's up to you to agree and accept. Hindi mo kailangang tanggapin agad yung offer as it is; magtanong muna kung pwedeng mag-negotiate, kung may mga terms na hindi mo gusto. Research research muna, alamin kung ano ang terms ng mga kontrata ng ibang authors, at i-decide kung ganon din ang gusto mo.

O baka ok ka naman sa terms nung verbally na-explain sa yo, pero di mo lang naiintindihan yung pagkakasulat ng kontrata. Kung ganon, you can ask for it to be rewritten, to be clearer.

Basic questions to ask:

1. What are you supposed to do, once you've signed this?

Ano ang mga obligasyon mo pag pinirmahan mo ito? Pag na-explain sa iyo kung ano ang mga expected na gagawin mo ngayong nakapirma ka na, tanungin mo naman ang sarili mo kung kaya mo ngang gawin ang pinapagawa nila, at kung ayon ba ang mga ito sa gusto mong ma-achieve as an author.

2. Ano ang mga HINDI MO NA PUWEDENG GAWIN kung pumirma ka na?

Mahirap mag-assume, so dapat malinaw ito. Puwede ka pa bang magsulat para sa ibang publisher, pero ibang genre? (Non-fiction kunwari?) Paano kung may day job ka na required kang magsulat? Paano yung blog mo, yung FB mo, yung Twitter mo, may mga bawal na bang gawin sa social media? Maaari ka pa bang umattend ng event ng competing company, kahit bisita lang? Bawal na ba magsulat ng bagong story na same genre kung ipo-post ito ng libre naman? Bawal na ba mag-self-pub ng sariling libro? Ano ang definition ng self-pub? Paano kung isang copy lang na personal? O kung lima lang para sa friends?

3. Ano ang makukuha mo from this partnership?

Madalas ang kontrata ay standard, pareho lang ang terms kahit iba-iba ang author. But each author may have a different set of circumstances. Someone who knows how to self-publish, for example, might have different expectations from a publishing agreement. Mahirap magkumpara ng case mo sa ibang author, if iba ang sitwasyon ninyo. Ask what YOU specifically, will gain from partnering with this company.

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Honestly, nahirapan akong i-compose ito, kasi parang ang hirap mag-explain sa mga tao THAT YOU DESERVE BETTER. Seriously.

But I guess dapat maging honest muna tayo sa sarili, about why we want that offer to begin with.

Ano pa ang mabibigay sa yo ng publisher when you already have thousands of readers? Because when you write for free, you are guaranteed to have more readers than any publisher charging for your book can give you. So bakit pa magpa-publish? Pera ba? The satisfaction of seeing your book printed? Ang pagkaguluhan sa mga book launch at signing? Pag na-figure out natin ang mga dahilan kung bakit tayo naghahanap ng publisher, then we can decide if their offer is a match.

So there. I was able to finally write this because nag-decide ako na sige, I will assume na alam natin ang ginagawa natin. That if we receive a "bad" offer and we accept it anyway, it's because we know what we will get out of it, and that we are accepting the risks. Because for some reason that offer is still giving us what we want, and what each author wants is different. That, I have to respect. 

Good luck. :)

Publishing and Self-publishing: Advice for WritersTahanan ng mga kuwento. Tumuklas ngayon