Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Publishing Deadlines

How important is it to meet your publisher’s deadline for turning in a manuscript? Often the publisher will give some leeway, but you have to keep in mind that your book is just one in a line-up of books set to go to press. Bumping your book means others also are affected.

Sometimes not meeting you deadline can get you bumped completely off the line-up and could have serious consequences.

Those consequences happened to Adrian Wojnarowski after he failed to meet his deadline for a biography he was writing, according to USA TODAY.

According to the article, which quoted from The NY Post, Wonjnarowski, after missing his August 2007 deadline, had his $400,000 deal slashed to $325,000. Then after missing his final deadline of June 1 (of this year I assume, although neither article stated a year) was told to return his advance of $140,000 and his contract was canceled.

Have you ever missed your publisher’s deadline? If so, what happened?

27 comments:

  1. I didn't miss mine and now I know not to miss any in the future!

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  2. I wondered what happened when deadlines were missed. I've come in under the wire on a couple of things, but it's obviously not something you want to do when a big contract is on the line.

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  3. I'm chronically on time. With that much at stake, I'd probably make myself finish plenty early!

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  4. If I were so lucky as to get a publisher and an advance, I can't imagine I'd miss my deadline! Then again, writing is hard stuff and somewhat of an artistic task. I know there are days when it just doesn't flow, and that's hard to predict.

    Michele
    SouthernCityMysteries

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  5. Publishers can cut you some slack, but they do have obligations to other authors.

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  6. An advance of half a million dollars? NO, I wouldn't miss that deadline! Still, though, what the guy got without even publishing the book was outstanding.

    Deadlines are critical with me. I am a true blue task-oriented individual! Missing that kind of deadline sounds more to me like ego than a lack of creativity. Anyone who gets offered that kind of advance surely knows how to create under pressure! LOL Sylvia Dickey Smith

    A War of Her Own

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  7. I would be too worried to miss a deadline. After reading this, I will ensure I never will. Even if I have to infill with a paragraph of gobbledy gook. :0

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  8. I'd like a deadline! I'd like a six figure advance too, and comfy shoes, and maybe a cowboy belt and buckle. If they chucked in a couple of movie vouchers I'd always be on time.

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  9. Yikers. This makes my self-imposed deadline pretty tame--and also makes me want to make sure this is what I am ready to do. :)

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  10. I wish I had these kind of problems. Hopefully someday I'll have a publisher demanding something from me on time in return for a six or seven figure salary.

    Stephen Tremp

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  11. Deadlines are not to be taken lightly seems to be the moral of this story.

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  12. With that type of a contract, those deadlines would be top priority in my life and would def be met, with room to spare!

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  13. I am compulsively early with everything in my life, so, no, I can't remember ever missing a deadline. And with a publisher? I can't even imagine.
    Karen

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  14. I'm another compulsively early person, so I can't imagine missing any deadline, but when you're already paid an advance...? He deserved to have the contract cancelled.

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  15. WOW! The publisher should contact me. I'd be happy to meet any and all deadlines.

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  16. holy toledo! He must have money to burn. I can even somewhat understand missing the first deadline but missing the second after knowing the consequences - well that's just smoking a stogie at a dynamite factory!

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  17. Wow!

    I am a serious deadline-maker. I can't even imagine missing a deadline - it's enough to make me break out in hives! Being an ex-journalist has drilled that into me.

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  18. That was a good deal for him! He should have delivered the manuscript.

    I know a few folks who will ask for small extensions. I don't know anyone who would ask for more than a week...

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  19. I ALWAYS pad the time I think I need enough. I'm a stickler for deadlines. The only things I can imagine that might cause me to miss one, would be personal injury or illness, or else a death or very serious illness of one of my primary relatives.

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  20. Some times the problem of conflicting simultaneous deadlines come up. My experience (from science writing) is that the longer the process have come (after 3rd or 4th review) the more sloppy you can be about deadlines, simply because no one wants to stop the process ... then all the previous work would be wasted ...

    Cold As Heaven

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  21. Good LAWD! Well, I haven't landed a contract with the BIGS yet, and with ATTMP I have big fish in small pond priority and quite a bit of lattitude with respect to deadlines. But if I was gonna lose $400K and the whole deal, you better bet your bippy I'd have the doggone thing in on time!

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  22. Wow, that was a terrible punishment--guess he won't do that again, if he even gets a chance!

    The deadlines I've missed have given me the punishment of having my work miss its slot which can hit hard with lots of ramifications including being a year late in publication. People can forget about you when that happens.

    Monti
    MaryMontagueSikes

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  23. Seems like we're in agreement that missing a deadline is not good. In this guy's case, it cost him a lot of money and probably more than that (thinking of the next book he wants to write).

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  24. I am proud to say that in all the years of writing newspaper and magazine articles, plus all my books, I have never missed a deadline. I did once ask for an extension of two weeks to do one more careful read-through before turning the ms in, and my editor was very agreeable as that helped her in the final copy editing.

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  25. wow, serious business. I guess when so much money is involved and how much it impacts everyone else, then it makes sense there are serious consequences to missing a deadline.

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  26. I might miss my own deadlines, but I’ve never (so far) missed those of my publisher even though my the consequences for me wouldn't be nearly so costly.

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  27. Same here. So far I've turned in my manuscripts early to my publisher.

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