Q&A with Miss Snark

Hi Miss Snark,

I’m interested in knowing how you go about doing your job (quite well, I imagine)

there are days that the bottom of the well is more apropos ..but never mind about that now.

Once you have signed a client, I assume you have some publishers in mind—people you have worked with before etc…

mostly yes.

But do you go to the big guns first—like Viking etc?? (Just like some writers do when we go for the big agents first—why not go for it?) Or, do you approach smaller publisher you know would be a good fit? What factors into this?

Viking is not some monolithic one person one size fits all kind of publishing house. You'd be surprised what rolls off the presses down there. Some books fit Viking perfectly (even if Paul Slovak keeps saying no to my brilliant projects...he'll be sorry when ..well...probably not, he's got Vollman, he's probably a pretty happy guy).

It's not a given that you run it by the Big Dogs first.
Some projects are right for them. Some aren't. Each project is campagined differently.

And, if you do get an offer from a publisher, do you then call other publishers advising you have this offer, trying to get them interested also?

yea, we call this an auction.

And, how is an advance determined? I imagine a publisher comes up with a figure based on expectations for sales—but is this amount also negotiable? (is there ever a back and forth between you and publisher on the amount)

There's a long post spelling this out in the archives. The short answer is, they offer, I laugh, I hit them with an abacus, they see the error of their ways, we all toast the new figure. Yes there is a formula to figure this out, which is why you studied algebra in high school very carefully. This is where you find out what x=expectations means.

Thanks in advance for your Snarkalicious wisdom.

yea, well, I'm not sure how much wisdom there is this, but you're certainly welcome.

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