EA, what do you think of this business of authors spending their advance on promotion?I think it's a little nutty. But each author should be the judge of their own promotional skill and be guided by that.
I'm not sure all editors are so quick to offer up these numbers, especially print runs. I've asked this question in the past and I've gotten a lot of hemming and hawing instead of a clear answer...That doesn't mean they don't have a guess. They have to have a guess to calculate your advance.
I agree with the mystery around print runs. I've never heard this information volunteered as part of the initial offer.
But foreign publishers and agents always ask.
Out of curiosity...I assume that the stated print run is a measure of the publisher's expectations. As such, are those numbers generally accurate? I mean to say, if the catalogue says "print run: 500,000" and then there are a million retail orders, you could quickly print more - but if there are only only 35 retail orders and people just don't seem that into it, would you not print as many? ... and at what point is it too late to pull the plug entirely?Print runs are usually set ahead of the orders coming in, but there are last-minute changes. Yes, sometimes we knock the print run down a few thousand. We're extremely unlikely to pull the plug on anything simply because early orders are lower than we hoped. The market's had plenty of sleeper titles. Pulling the plug is pretty much saved for titles where we're getting actual resistance (anger, outrage, etc). You can see how the abort button got pushed for If I Did It (in its first incarnation. Alas, it has risen again). But that sort of reaction is pretty unusual in kids books, not counting The Rainbow Party, which seems to have been published just to give parents aneurysms and bible thumpers something new to burn.
EA, a question about this kind of negotiation--Does the publisher generate a range of estimates for the advance (for example, $4000-$6000) and offer $4000, being prepared to go up to $6000 during negotiations, or do they just generate one estimate and say, "Take it or leave it"?Depends on the book. Usually there's some room for negotiation, and if we're dealing with an agent, we'll make sure we leave room for negotiation, even if it means low-balling at first. Because agents won't leave us alone until we raise the advance from our initial offer, no matter how fair we feel it is.