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Old 06-30-2012, 03:03 PM   #16
Suzanna
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Originally Posted by Edward M. Grant View Post
If they're going to have 'shelves of the book in all book shops', that's a heck of a big print run and worthy of far more than a $5,000 advance.
Yes, but what if it doesn't sell and many of the books are returned? I know that here in Canada our one main bookstore chain, Chapters/Indigo, recently *halved* the amount of time they will keep a book in stock before it's returned to the publisher. I think they cut it from 90 days to 45 days.

If the book does sell out, though, Eileen will start getting some very nice royalty cheques.
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Old 06-30-2012, 03:50 PM   #17
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Yes, but what if it doesn't sell and many of the books are returned?
You don't put 'shelves of the book in all book shops' (which would presumably mean paying a ton of money to the stores to encourage them to stock it) unless you expect to sell vast numbers of them.

As I said, the claims of vast marketing power, 'shelves of the book in all book shops' and a tiny advance... do not compute. If they really want a book that much, the author should have no trouble getting a six figure advance from them even today.
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Old 06-30-2012, 04:25 PM   #18
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I'm not that obsessed about getting a huge advance. I know two authors who got big advances that didn't earn out, and they were untouchable after that. I'd rather take a smaller advance and have the prospect of some royalties later on.

Returns has never been an issue before, but if they have a big print run, and there are significant returns, then I'm going to look bad.
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Old 06-30-2012, 05:21 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EileenG View Post
I'm not that obsessed about getting a huge advance. I know two authors who got big advances that didn't earn out, and they were untouchable after that. I'd rather take a smaller advance and have the prospect of some royalties later on.

Returns has never been an issue before, but if they have a big print run, and there are significant returns, then I'm going to look bad.
I too was not impressed with the $5K with the details I have heard about you, but still you have a deadline and not much time and while as has been said you shouldn't sign away any of your abilities to write and stump for other books, you need to stop worrying and start writing and this could be your big chance.

Your mother will be fine. Just tell her that your work is like making and selling confectioners sugar. Very fine, very sweet and very specialized and not for everyone. (You can use that if you want.)

Go get them, gal!
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Old 06-30-2012, 05:28 PM   #20
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Thank you, frahse, I'll do my best. I keep telling myself it's only 2000 words a day, and I do that anyway.
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Old 06-30-2012, 07:13 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by EileenG View Post
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 and Smith's posts about the industry, and looking through The Passive Voice's contract collection before signing.
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Old 06-30-2012, 07:58 PM   #22
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I already publish erotica with Ellora's Cave. It's not a genre I'd fancy self-pubbing at all.
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Old 07-01-2012, 08:18 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by EileenG View Post
No, I'm pretty sure they are not asking anyone else. They are going to pay the advance BEFORE I write the book, which is not something they normally do.

Considering the pulling power of this particular publisher, I'm fairly happy that there will be royalties as well, unless I write a really, really crap book.
Quote:
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....I keep telling myself it's only 2000 words a day, and I do that anyway.


Good Luck!


Last edited by kennyc; 07-01-2012 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 07-01-2012, 11:20 PM   #24
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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.
Sounds normal. Feels like they're testing out the market and hoping your book (along with others probably) will do well and cashing in on a fad. Obviously I don't think they're expecting the book to blow 50 Shades away, but rather hoping to capture a significant share of the market.

My uninformed opinion is that $5,000 is a decent deal (certainly around what mid-list writers are getting), but hopefully your agent (if you have one) or lawyer can look at your contract for royalties (in the event the book is indeed a success).
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Old 07-02-2012, 03:33 AM   #25
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Sounds normal. Feels like they're testing out the market and hoping your book (along with others probably) will do well and cashing in on a fad. Obviously I don't think they're expecting the book to blow 50 Shades away, but rather hoping to capture a significant share of the market.

My uninformed opinion is that $5,000 is a decent deal (certainly around what mid-list writers are getting), but hopefully your agent (if you have one) or lawyer can look at your contract for royalties (in the event the book is indeed a success).
(my bold above)

Before she hands them the manuscript! (Except perhaps for a taste.)
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Old 07-02-2012, 12:40 PM   #26
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If they are promising a big marketing push, have them put the marketing budget (and some rough plans) IN THE CONTRACT.

eP
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:51 AM   #27
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I agree with most in this thread, check for the details around the non-compete and go for it! Do you have a lawyer or someone that can review the contract for you?
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Old 07-05-2012, 11:57 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by EileenG View Post
No, I'm pretty sure they are not asking anyone else. They are going to pay the advance BEFORE I write the book, which is not something they normally do.

Considering the pulling power of this particular publisher, I'm fairly happy that there will be royalties as well, unless I write a really, really crap book.
I agree with others, this seems extremely low for a commissioned work. We offer more than that when we commission technical books. Much more if the offer is to an established author. Also I have not heard of such a short lead time - something doesn't seem kosher. Why are you certain that they are not making multiple offers?
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:54 PM   #29
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I agree with others, this seems extremely low for a commissioned work. We offer more than that when we commission technical books. Much more if the offer is to an established author. Also I have not heard of such a short lead time - something doesn't seem kosher. Why are you certain that they are not making multiple offers?
I would imagine that the lead time is very short because the publisher is hoping to cash in on the 50 Shades of Gray phenomenon, which is hot, hot, hot right now. Everyone is jumping onto that craze. Black Lace Books closed down in 2009 (article here) but will shortly relaunch again (Sept. 2012 according to their twitter account) based solely on the 50 Shades craze. They'll be republishing some of their past titles at that point. Sylvia Day had her self-published Bared to You, which does bear similarities to 50 Shades, picked up by Berkley lately and it was rebranded so that the cover looks similar to James's trilogy.

Erotica and erotic romance for women are very hot right now. Publishers are jumping on board the craze in a big way. There's no way of knowing how long it will last, so I'm not surprised at all about the short lead time. It could go poof at any time. Remember chick lit?

And alas, $5000 is an average midlist advance. Have a look at Brenda Hiatt's Show Me the Money report, which she keeps up to date with information authors report to her privately, for an idea of the range of advances for the various romance publishing imprints.

Last edited by Suzanna; 07-05-2012 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:48 PM   #30
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Yes, the short lead time is so that they can have it in print in time for Christmas shopping and they need to cash in on the 50 Shades thing. And that's why I'm sure they are not making multpile offers, there are simply not that many erotica writers about who are as good (and fast) as we are. There was a lot of mention in the media about us writing a 30k novella in ten days.

According to a writer friend, the advance is similar to what she gets for ghost writing for them.
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