Leon Nefaykh over at the Observer has some very good advice for authors: with publishers’ budgets increasingly tight, don’t assume you can just get an extension if you miss your contractual deadlines. As we’ve all been telling clients over the last year, now is not the time to take for granted that you’ll retain your publisher’s goodwill if you can’t fulfill your obligations. Deliver on time, and if you’re concerned that you won’t be able to, talk to your agent right away so that we can try to work out an extension for you before you’re in breach. (As with all contractual matters, it’s important to come to us with this problem, not your publisher directly.)
But don’t leave that conversation for the last minute: you don’t want to find out a week before your due date that you’re nowhere near finished and going to have to meet the deadline or find your contract canceled—and your signing payment due back to the publisher.