Pre empts

O Snarkissima,

In some reports of book sales to publishers, I see the sale described as a "pre-empt." What does that mean? I think of "Friends" reruns giving place to something insipid and useless like the State of the Union Address, but obviously it must be something much more delightful than that, as it sounds so heroic and dramatic.

A pre-empt is when a publisher throws enough bags of money on the table that you promise not to visit anyone else's vault to see how much money they'll offer.

In other words, it's enough money to clinch the deal, and it occurs before an auction-thus pre-empting the bidding.


kitty said...

She's alive! Miss Snark is ALIVE! (There is a God after all.)

inherwritemind1 said...

Kitty, I shared your post-Snarkum depression this week.

Chumplet said...

We all thought you burned down your apartment again. I'm glad everything's okay.

Oh, yeah... Pre empts. Good stuff. I'll let you know when it happens to me!

Anonymous said...

How embarassing. I got a pre-empt with a big house and until now I had no idea what it meant and I didn't want to look like a dipshit and ask my agent. Thank you, Miss snark!

Jane Smith said...

A few years ago, when my agent sent my first novel out, we had so much initial interest that he was sure we'd get a pre-empt. There were four editors very strongly interested, and the publisher at one of the publishing houses told my agent that it had been a long time since there'd been so much buzz about a novel. I was flying!

The editors all convened emergency meetings with their sales teams... who hated the book, without exception. Not only did we not get a pre-empt, we didn't even get a single offer. The book remains unpublished, but I've got some very good comments about it on file somewhere.

I live in hope.

Anonymous said...

Jane Smith, what a sad story! Do you mind if I ask what the plot of your novel is? Man, I think I need a drink after reading that.

Pseudonym said...

Jane Smith, that is tragic! My love/hate relationship with writing has hit a new low. However, that initial flurry of interest means that some educated people really liked it. What do the bottom feeders (money people) know. Keep at it. Likewise, my book received the highest number of recommendations for the Bram Stoker Award recently, by members of HWA - so even though it qualified for a full nomination, it was decided (by someone) that it wouldn't advance to the final ballot. Disappointing, yes, but I'm not giving up. You shouldn't either.