Thursday, February 27, 2014

Details Matter. Period.

Last week I wandered into an online discussion group, where I was intrigued by the question,

“I just found out that I’m supposed to use one space after a period instead of two. After typing one way for so many years, it seems silly to change. Do you think it’s important to follow this rule?”

A little background: The double-space convention was a product of the old days of manual typesetting (I will spare you the boring details). And with old-style typewriters that made all characters the same width, a double-space was deemed necessary to distinguish the end of a sentence. But now that almost all of us compose on computers that can make those adjustments automatically, the single-space is sufficient. Confused? Me too.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

What To Expect When You're Expecting (An Agent)

Good news! You sent off your book proposal to a literary agent, and he liked it. Better news! A few days later, despite your doubts, the agency contract arrives in your mailbox. You open the envelope, and lay out the document on your dining room table. And there it is, staring at you, taunting you, begging for your signature.

Now what? Should you sign it? Most first-time authors won’t have a clue. Before you face that momentous decision, here are some of the standard provisions you’ll find in most agency contracts. Let's strip away the legalese, and get down to it: