I'm all happy-girl right now because I just signed and sent off the Ellora's Cave contract for my second novel, Inn on the Edge. Actually, it took WAY WAY longer than it ought to have.
It was quite the production:
1) Feeling quite good, I fill out PDF-type document that they'd sent me - you know, the ones with the little gray squares.
2) Afterwards, I stare at it, second-guessing myself, then change my answers to half of the answers - what on earth do they mean by "one-sentence description of each main character's role, without names or descriptions"? How am I supposed to do THAT?
3) Have husband proof-read my answers, shake his head in dismay, prompting yet more changed answers.
4) Have husband proof-read again. Finally, we have "one-sentence descriptions" we can live with. I guess.
5) Print last two pages of the document - the signature pages.
6) Sign the hardcopies with a nice writerly flourish.
7) Scan the pages, so that they can be emailed along with the document. Nothing. Nada. The scanner isn't working.
8) Try again to scan the pages. Pull out hair.
9) Talk husband down when scanner refuses to work.
10) Hunt all over house for scanner-usage booklet. Find it.
11) Fix scanner. Maybe. Try to scan again.
12) Fail. Repeat three times.
13) Finally, a full hour later - VICTORY! - we make scans of the (stupid) signature pages and then I make a special mollifying beverage for helpful but unhappy husband.
14) I press "SEND" and Email the two scanned signature pages AND THE CONTRACT to Ellora's Cave. Yes!! Success! I now have a bona-fide contract for Inn on the Edge!
15) Contracts. They're cool. Very cool.
Edited to Add:
Jeez. And I thought I had this down! About half an hour after writing this very clever little post for my blog, I received an email from my publisher. Apparently, they've changed the contract-submission process. Argggh! Richard and Micah, our 21-year-old, Computer Science Major son, sat down at the laptop and, following the instructions from the contract-coordinator, changed this and fixed that and got rid of the other, until the contract was fit to be submitted again.
This time, it was a "go". Whew. That sound you hear, off in the distance? It's my big sigh of relief!