Less money? Miss Snark hisses and backs away

Miss Snark, have you ever encouraged a client to take a somewhat smaller advance, on the theory that if you don't earn out your advance, it's really tough to sell again? Or is that crazy talk?

Call me crazy, but I always believe every book I sell is going to do well. I'm always shocked as hell when a book tanks. And yes, some have. It's just totally f/ing depressing and even thinking about it makes my face paler than Killer Yapp's delicate snout.

No, I never encourage anyone to take less dough cause I think the book won't earn out. I encourage clients to look at more than money: for back list support, editorial expertise and stability, and publicity and marketing support. That's worth reduced upfront dough.

But mostly Miss Snark smiles sharkly at editors and encourages them to open their coffers a bit more and pull out the file marked "serious money".


Kristen Painter said...


Miss Snark said...

Sharkly: lots of teeth but the smile doesn't quite reach past the pointy nose into the eyes.

Maya Reynolds said...

I just shivered--I've encountered some sharkly smiles in the past.

Shadow said...


Might have started as a typo for "snarkly". Nice save, though.

Jo Bourne said...

back list support,
editorial expertise,
editorial stability,
publicity support,
marketing support.

..... 'Ah moment' occurs ......

So THAT'S what agents look at in publishing houses.

Now I know.

Anonymous said...

I admit I know nothing about the publishing biz, but it seems to me that the more money the house invests up front, the more likely they will push the book after it's published. After all, they want the book to earn out.

On the other hand people have told me I don't have a head for business.