Negotiating a book contract (was Ghostwriters anonymous pricing question (long)

Subject: Negotiating a book contract (was Ghostwriters anonymous pricing question (long)
From: "Sherry Michaels" <sherry -dot- michaels -at- docntrain -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2005 11:06:00 -0700

I posted this earlier, but it looks as if it fell into the internet "black
hole." Sorry if you've received it twice.

Herb Cohen writes books on negotiation. In one of them (and I'm sorry, I've
forgotten which one), he says, "The person who is more emotionally involved,
loses." You lost the negotiation the second you wanted to do the book more
than the businessman wanted to pay you. By the fact that you and he are
"disconnected" I think you will not get the opportunity to present a new
quote (which, by the way, is probably not a good idea). You have suffered a
credibility blow when the businessman's understanding and your understanding
didn't connect. You need to shore your credibility up, if he allows you to
do it. Reducing your rate only sabotages your credibility further.

If, however, you do get the chance, present a "statement of work" which lays
out the understanding very specifically and includes a table on the going
rates for good writers. Use surveys to back up your information (STC does

Understand that in business, there are very few second chances. This one may
be blown.

Good luck.

Sherry Michaels
Michaels & Associates
11639 E. Wethersfield Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85259
480-614-8440 Local
877-614-8440 Toll free
480-614-2775 FAX


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