The End of the Advance?

Author:
Publish date:

Strangely enough, I had not one but two important conversations about book advances yesterday. First, I was talking with my agent, Sorche Fairbank, who relayed some good news: The first book proposal we worked on recently attracted a good publisher and that publisher had offered us a book deal. (A book deal!) But then came the not-so-good part. The advance was a lot smaller than we first hoped.
In exchange for the low advance, we're trying to get some other concessions that will make the deal work. (I will keep you posted.)

Now - later that afternoon, I had the pleasure of sitting down with agent Sharlene Martin, who was in the building here talking with some people. She brough up advances again - saying that they're slowly going away or getting smaller. This is happening for two reasons, she said.
First, 90 percent of books don't earn out their advances; and second, we're in a recession and places are looking for ways to cut costs.

All this said, there are two strategies to lowering book advances. There is the strategy that you just pay authors less and keep your publishing house afloat. And then there is the strategy that you pass less on the front end in exchange for a much better deal on the back end. For example, instead of earning a standard $1 royalty per book, maybe you earn $4.25? The publisher pays no money upfront, and the publisher and author are tied to the book's success together in an integral way.

Hmmm ... I wonder how this all will play out. Thoughts?

From Our Readers

Describe the First Time a Book Transported You to Another/Magical World: From Our Readers (Comment for a Chance at Publication)

This post announces our latest From Our Readers ask: Describe the First Time a Book Transported You to Another/Magical World. Comment for a chance at publication in a future issue of Writer's Digest.

About Us: How to Handle Your Story That Involves Other People

About Us: How to Handle Your Story That Involves Other People

Your story belongs to you but will involve other people. Where do your rights end and theirs begin?

Identifying Your Book's Target Audience

Identifying Your Book's Target Audience

Editor-in-chief Amy Jones navigates how to know your target audience, and how knowing will make your writing stronger.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 575

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a safe poem.

ryoji-iwata-QKHmi6ENAmk-unsplash

I Spy

Every writer needs a little inspiration once and a while. For today's prompt, someone is watching your narrator ... but there's a twist.

Brian Freeman: On "Rebooting" Another Writer's Legacy

Brian Freeman: On "Rebooting" Another Writer's Legacy

In this article, Brian Freeman, author of Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Treachery, discusses how he took up the mantle of a great series and made it his own.

Sole vs. Soul (Grammar Rules)

Sole vs. Soul (Grammar Rules)

Learn how to distinguish the sole from the soul with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

How to Make the Most of a Virtual Writing Workshop or Conference

How to Make the Most of a Virtual Writing Workshop or Conference

In this brave new world of virtual learning and social distance, Kristy Stevenson helps us make the most of the virtual conference.

When Is Historical Accuracy Inaccurate?

When Is Historical Accuracy Inaccurate?

Writers of historical fiction must always ride the line between factual and fictitious. Here, author Terry Roberts discusses how to navigate that line.