Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Term of the Week: Satisfactory Manuscript

All publishers require that a manuscript has to be "satisfactory" before it will be accepted. This allows them to terminate a contract if the manuscript delivered is not fit for publication. While it makes sense that the publisher should be allowed to reject a work if it is not fit for publication, it's important to define this term in more detail in order to ensure that the publisher cannot reject the work for arbitrary reasons.

First, make sure you describe in much detail as possible what you are supposed to be delivering. Next, add "in form and content" after "satisfactory", which prevents the publisher from rejecting a work simply because the subject matter is no longer popular at the time you deliver the it.

3 comments:

Church Lady said...

Can you blog about the Judith Regan lawsuit?

Cocaine Princess said...

Dear Lyons Literary LLC,
I have a question. Is it possible for a literary agent to dismiss a manuscript, no matter how amazing it maybe based purely on their own personal taste? Or do they keep an open mind?

Cocaine Princess

Jonathan Lyons said...

Sure, I do it all the time. Many amazing projects can still be difficult to sell, and because of that agents often need to feel a strong connection to the work. It's this emotional investment that keeps you going after you've received 20 rejections from editors (Obviously the author already had this connection and motivation since they wrote the project).