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Hayley Coates – Why I left my publisher …

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Why I left my publisher ….

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
~ Mark Twain

How can an emotionally-charged, artistically-inclined, freedom-loving woman do business?

It would seem impossible.

But, it isn’t.

I’ve just had a good teacher: my partner in crime, Keith.

Here he is. Handsome fella, huh? I didn’t really need to post this photo of him, but why miss such an incredible opportunity?

Keith Clearihan

The first lesson he ever taught me was that if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Before meeting him, I was terrified to ask for more than what I was offered. If a price tag said $100, that’s how much the clerk would be handed, no questions asked. Now, however, he’s got me negotiating EVERYTHING and he doesn’t even have to remind me. I love it!

Now, back to the point.

So, when my publisher didn’t deliver, I had the guts to ask for more.

They budged with nothing.

Not.

A.

Thing.

The quality was not up to scratch, either. It just wasn’t.

And I knew in my heart, I had to cut them loose.

Which brings me to the next business lesson I’ve learned so far: going with your gut. Intuition is a funny thing, one minute we are so sure, the next, we falter. I’ve learned that when it comes to making an important business decision, you HAVE to sleep on it. When you wake up, there is no emotional brain fog, messing with your decision-making processes and it’s with that first morning coffee when I’ll know what step to take.

I was shaking in my boots at the thought of leaving my publisher, but I did it anyway. And … it ended up being easy, because I READ THE CONTRACT. Not once, not twice, but countless times. I went over that baby with a fine-tooth comb before signing, because there was no way that I was going to be stuck in any business relationship with someone I didn’t want to be stuck with, no matter how fluffy and soft they seemed at the start.

Don’t be fooled writers! Are you signing up to something you can’t get out of for five to ten?

Be careful.

They didn’t even care so much that I was leaving, which was a huge relief, and totally affirmed my decision.

The last thing I’ve been taught is when to stop talking. Such an important lesson! Especially when you’re like me, and wear your heart on your sleeve … I tend to harp on and on.  Now, I ask for what I want, and then wait. Patience is key in the money-making world. The creative side in me no longer loathes the business side of being a writer. In fact, I’m even enjoying it.

So, in the end, I left my publisher, because I knew I could find myself a better deal.

Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.
Steve Jobs

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