Originally Posted by EileenG
This is a Big Six publisher who have approached me and asked me to write an erotic novel that will blow 50 Shades away. They want it before the end of August, so it can be on the shelves before Christmas and are offering an advance of $5000.
$5k is a midlist advance. It's certainly not what they'll offer to anyone they *actually* expect to "blow 50 Shades away." (If they believed you'd have better sales than 50 Shades, they'd offer you enough to be sure you'd take the offer, or sounded like a fool to your friends for turning it down.) Also, the concept of "we want a new novel in two months so we can get it out this year" doesn't remotely sound like they believe they're pitching for a bestseller. (Unsure? Ask how they're planning to promote it.)
For erotica writers, I'd recommend self-publishing or connecting with an indie house (the one I work for
is always looking for new authors, but our business model is very nonstandard); there are nuances in the industry that the Big Six are fairly oblivious to. If your novel *is* "the next 50 Shades," you deserve more than 17.5% of list for it.
Konrath points out that he makes a lot more selling his own work
than through mainstream publishers. Konrath's blog
is great for self-pub inspiration. It's not strong on the practical side of things, nor in advice for the crucial "Write WELL" part of the equation, but he does a great job of convincing aspiring authors that going it alone is just as valid a business decision as hiring on with a publisher.
If you *do* want to sign with a publisher (because hey, business stuff is frustrating, and not having to find an editor and cover design and format ebooks is nice), I strongly recommend reading some of Rusch's
posts about the industry, and looking through The Passive Voice's contract collection