Saturday, March 24, 2012

Turning Down A Contract

So last week, I left you with a cliff hanger of "news to announce", today, I'll tell you about one of them.

My title gives away the end of my story but here is the beginning and middle. I received an offer through the mail from Arcadia Publishing to write a pictorical history of Elk Point and Union County, South Dakota. I was actually REFERRED to them by the South Dakota State Historical Society, so I felt very honored.

If you aren't familiar with Arcadia Publishing, visit their website, They put out awesome books. I was very familiar with them because my huband is a big fan and my friend, Marilyn Kratz wrote a book for them.

The first thing I did was kick an email off to Marilyn for advice, then I started researching picture availability as the book requires from 175 to 200 pictures. I came upon some deadends but did find that the Union County Historical Society housed right in Elk Point has a plethora of pictures.

With the Historical Society five minutes from my house, it seems like a perfect opportunity, right? That was my hope too, but historical pictures are a valued commodity and need to remain on the Historical Society's premises. Understandably, but then that meant, I'd have to buy a scanner and use my vacation days to research and scan pictures because the Historical Society's hours of operation are during the middle of the week days.

So...I had to make a hard decision to turn down the book contract. Believe me I'm not a writer who likes to turn down work, but I'm also a writer who's never missed a deadline and who feels I just don't have the time I need to devote to this worthy project. I'm hoping the publisher can find an author to work on this book because just doing the basic research that I did, I saw pictures of things that I never knew existed in Union County and things I had forgotten!

Perhaps, some of my writer friends who are readers of my blog are interested in this project? If so, let me know and I'll give you the publisher's email address.

So, reader's and writer's have you ever had to turn down a project? Did it pain you to do so? I'd like to know.


  1. I'm familiar with the historical books this publisher does, and I like them very much. I also understand your TIME problem with a full-time day job. You made the right--but painful--choice, Rose.

  2. Yes, I know two people who have books with Acadia. It's time consuming to organize the photos, write the captions, verify and get permissions. And then there's promotion…
    Yes, I have turned down a contract. I didn't think a $24 book by an unknown author would sell. And there was an odd clause requiring me to pay for "book packaging." Pass!