Monday, November 30, 2015
Dear Publisher: Just a few things
Once again let me just say how excited I am to be working with you. It has always been a dream of mine to publish a book, so, naturally, I'm quite thrilled right now. But, right, of course you don't want to hear about that. You want to get down to business. Me too.
You are probably wondering why I have not yet signed the publishing agreement that you have sent me. Please don't get me wrong. I think it is really a terrific agreement, and already I am super impressed with how well your office is run and how great your staff seems to be. I feel like I am in super good hands!
I just have a couple of tiny issues about the agreement. I mean, they're so small I really could have just signed it and mentioned them outside of the contract because I'm sure they're the sort of things you'd do anyway. I certainly don't want to be one of those writers who's a lot of work, if you know what I mean. I don't want to be one of those High Maintenance Writers, like Cervantes or Rowling. I want us to have a good, smooth, harmonious relationship. And because of that I figured that making the minuscule adjustments here will set us up with an unbreakable foundation. I'm not saying the other foundation would have been a problem, but why not take an extra minute if we can make it perfect?
Now I'm not insisting all these things need to be in the contract. I just thought, hey, let's get them out there in the air between us, and if you think they belong in the contract go ahead and have your staff put them in. I trust you that much. Already we can see the superb advantage of us from the start being on such excellent footing.
You know how sometimes, like, in a book of Pablo Neruda poetry, they'll have Spanish on one page and then the English on the facing page? I was thinking that it would be a good idea to do that in my book with a quality Hindustani translation facing my original English.
No, I'm not Indian. Why do you ask?
Font? Can we just put in that I have final say on the font? I mean, I figure any final font approval would come to me anyway, but it's not mentioned in the agreement so why not just throw it in there. But don't worry, I'm not like, some obsessive or anything. If there's a font you like for this book I'm excited to take a look at it. It's not like I think Trebuchet is the only font in the world and that I must use it no matter what. I just really like it, a lot.
Actors playing me in the film version: I know that's not really going to be your purview, but I figured, hey, why don't we start getting on the same page from the start. A now retired co-worker of mine thought I looked like Ben Stiller. I'm very fond of George Clooney, and I have sort of a fear that I am most like Danny Devito. But you know what, what if we just threw caution to the wind and had all of them, and a whole slew of other actors, play me in a story closely tracking my essays and telling a widely diverse version of me through disparate angles. It's just an idea. I know it went horribly in that Dylan movie, but that doesn't mean it's a bad idea.
We should also put in the contract that Dylan will play himself in the movie. I'm pretty sure he'll want to.
Because I have so much material, I think we might make it unduly hard for ourselves in the editing process by trying to choose just 150 or 200 pieces. I'm thinking we might both be more comfortable if we agree now to a 14 volume series. That way we can just sort of lay it all out in the beginning to have a visual and thematic consistancy. We should probably expand the agreement to 14 volumes so the framework is set up right from the start. Don't worry, I only need the advance for the first volume right now.
I know in the correspondence we've had so far I've said money doesn't matter to me. None of that stuff really does. I don't need more fame or riches or any of that. I joke around, but I'm a pretty spiritual person. And really, let me assure you I am just happy and honored to be working with your excellent and well regarded publishing house. That said I'd like to see the marketing budget doubled for this book along with my percentage of the take from each volume sold. I think you'll find it just feels better that way.
I'll stop here, the rest of the issues we can discuss over long lunches in New York that I'm so looking forward to. If you want to have your people amend the contract with all this stuff I'll sign it right away. The other stuff we'll talk about can just be inked in and initialed.
Once again I am so excited to be working with you and am happy everything is off to such a smooth start. I look forward to hearing from you soon!
In professional friendship,