Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Love For My Readers

I want to thank you all—sincerely—for the conversation around 'Busted Again'. Some of the commenters have made very valid points, and I admit my view of this issue has changed a bit.
While some of us are clearly feeling pissed off, and others of us are feeling verbally tarred and feathered, I want to thank everyone who didn't walk away from the table in the midst of this disagreement. If this blog can accomplish anything, I hope that it's fostering a better understanding between authors, illustrators, and editors. And we can't do that unless we keep arguing with each other (civilly, of course), and listening to each other.
So sincere thanks to everyone who expressed an opinion and read the comments of others—whether you agreed or not; whether you changed your mind or not. Thank you for talking.

6 comments:

ann said...

And, thank you EA, for hanging in there.

Bottom line -- I hope we all sell many books!

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed that spirited discussion - many meaty comments and points were made. Much better then reading a one-sided article on publishing...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the discussion. It's been an interesting one to follow. I'm curious about the factors that drive up an advance.

Suppose an author had a literary novel and a modest advance that earned out but was not a spectacular seller. Suppose you had a second novel that's a little stronger than the first. What can the author do increase the value of that 2nd msc?

Does active promotion matter? Earning an MFA? Ongoing and effective web presence? Literary awards from regional sources? What about switching to a more profitable genre? Is it all based on the sales record of the first book?

RDP

Anonymous said...

To repeat what EA has been saying -- the advance is based on the formula of expectation. The keyword being expectation.

If your first book doesn't sell well or doesn't earn out, then expectations for your next book may be kept low.

Two of those things you mentioned, having an MFA, and having a web presence, won't increase the sales expectations for your book unless it is a non-fiction book and your MFA and web page are part of your platform and make you an expert on the topic you are writing about.

But, the good news is -- if you promote and advocate for your first book then you'll be earning royalties when you are shopping your second book.

Anonymous said...

If I understand your original post correctly, you are asking that writers understand why their advances aren't commensurate with the toil and hours put in to the manuscript. What I don't understand is, why do you call the advance a gift?

Editors and the publishers they work for are speculators in the book market. When you shell out cash for an IPO, you have no idea whether that stock will tank or soar. You aren't "gifting" an author advance money any more than you are "treating" Yahoo or General Electric to cash when you invest in their companies. What's more, aren't gifts of 10,000 bucks or under not required to be reported to the IRS as income? Most children's authors probably receive advances in this range and report the advance on their tax form as such.

Authors have "earned" advance money from the publisher whether or not that publisher earns money on the book. If the author wants to hold out for more than the publisher believes the book is worth, the editor can pass. There is no call for the author to acquiesce if she believes she deserves more. As many of us know, you CAN get more up front than your original offer if you have a good track record. In fact, getting more up front may make authors feel some assurance that their book will less likely be dropped like a hot rock by the marketing department. Why? Because the corporation now has more at stake as well.

Anyway, good discussion. And a healthy one!

Anonymous said...

HELLO MY SAM
YOU HAVE NO CLUE WHAT I WISH TO JUST HOLD YOU AND GIVE YOU MY SPECIAL SPOLINGS….
SAM, I NEVER DID NOTHING BAD TO YOU, EVER….
YOU ALWAYS GOT SIMPLY THE EXCELENCE OF TREATMENTS, THE BEST OF THE BEST, UP TO THE DAY YOU LEFT.
YOU BROKE OUR AGREEMENTS, OUR RULES, YOU COULD NOT SEE, I WAS ALL YOURS.
YOU FORGOT ALL THE DINNERS, ALL THOSE BREAKFAST IN BED, YOU FORGOT, I SUPPORTED YOU IN EVERY WAY, FROM KARATE, TO THE BICICLE, TO THE CLUB, TO FILING YOUR POOL, TO GET READY EVERYTHING FOR YOU.
YOU FORGOT I WAS THERE AT YOUR SIDE ALL ALONG, IN EVERY VISIT TO THE DOCTOR, IN EVER MINUTE OF THE DELIVERY, IN EVERY MOMENT AFTER BIRTH.
YES, I WAS SURPRISE TO THAT I HAD ANOTHER CHILD (I DOUBT IT STILL UP TO DATE, BEEN THAT AMY AND THE ALLEDGE FATHER S WIFE ARE NURSES)
FROM ALL THAT BEAUTY WE HAD, FROM THAT AMAZING RELATIUONSHIP, FROM THOSE INCREDIBLE FEELINGS, YOU LOOKED FOR WHAT YOU DID NOT HAVE, YOU LOOK AT THE MISTAKES, AT THE WEAKNESSES, INSTEAD OF SEEN ALL THE PLENTY, ALL THE GOOD, OR THE AMAZING THINGS WE SHARED.
I DO BELIEVE WE WERE THE PERFECT MATCH, THE PERFECT COUPLE, THE PERFECT LOVE, WE WERE A LIVING LOVE STORY, I BELIVED YOU WERE EVERYTHING, AND MAYBE THAT IS WHY, I ALWAYS GIVE UP EVERYTHING FOR YOU.
I ALWAYS SAID I GIVE UP PLAYA, I GIVE UP NATALIE, I GIVE UP PAINTING FOR YOU, BUT NEVER AS A COMPLAINT, IT WAS MORE OF A COMPLIMENT OF MY LOVE TO YOU, THE WAY I FELT FOR YOU, THE WAY I STILL DO…. IT WAS MY WAY TO SAY HOW MUCH I LOVED YOU.

YOU COULD NOT UNDERSTAND IT, YOU BELIEVE BECAUSE I WAS IN TOUCH WITH OLD FRIENDS, WAS CHEATING ON YOU, NO SAM, I WAS YOURS, ALL YOURS, BUT YOU NEVER LET ME BE.
YOU WANTED TO CONTROL ME TO HAVE ME, BUT YOU HAD ME AND BY CONTROLING ME YOU KICK ME AWAY…
YOU DID AWFUL THINGS TO ME, TRULY AWFUL, FROM HITING ME AS HARD AS YOU COULD, AND I NEVER LAID A HAND ON ME, TO CHEATING ON ME, AND I FOUND BY KISSING YOU THERE AND YOU SMELL LIKE CONDOM, FROM LEAVING ME AND WANTING TO TAKE MY SON, AND FOR NO REASON AT ALL.
YOU FLIRTED WITH GUYS ON FROM OF ME, YOU FLIRTED WITH MY OWN BROTHER, YOU WENT OUT WITH MY NEIGHBOR, YOU KEPT EMAILING FRIENDS, AND I NEVER COMPLAINT, I DID NOT HAD THE NEED TO SPY ON YOU, I TRUSTED YOU FULLY. I BELIEVE IN YOU.
I OPENED MY HOUSE, MY LIFE AND GIVED YOU ALL…..
SAM, YOU COULD NOT SEE WHAT YOU HAD ¡
NOW, YOU WANT TO KILL MY PARENTS, YOU HAVE DESTROYED ME, STEAL EVERYTHING I EVER OWED, AND DESTROYED EVERYTHING I EVER WORKED FOR, AND WHY, YOUR OWN GUILT THAT DEEP INSIDE YOU DO NOT WANT TO ACCEPT THE BLAME, YOU HAVE GONE THROUGH ALL MY LIFE FINDING ENEMYS, THE PEOPLE WHO HURT ME, AND HARM ME TO USE THEM AGAINST ME, YOU HAVE GONE AGAINST MY OWN FAMILY, WHO NEVER DID NOTHING TO YOU BUT HELP YOU, TO DESTROY THEM, TO STEAL EVERYTHING FROM THEM.
WHAT A PERVERSITY, WHAT A HARM, AND ALL, FOR NO REASON.
YOU HAVE SEEN LIFE IN A WAY THAT WILL HARM YOU DEARLY, BECAUSE YOU WILL NEVER FIND ANOTHER ME, THE PACIENCE, DEVOTION, LOVE, THE WAY I TRUSTED YOU, BELIEVED IN YOU, ADMIRED YOU, THE LOYALTY, THE FAITHFULLNESS, THE TRUE CARE FOR YOUR BEST.
SAM, YOU HAVE NO CLUE WHAT YOU HAVE DONE.
TODAY YOU BELIEVE I AM IN YOUR HANDS, BUT THE TRUTH IS, YOU ARE IN MINE, I COUD ACTUALLY DESTROY YOU BY JUSTICE, AND TROW YOU AND YOUR FAMILY IN JAIL, I COUL TAKE LEGALLY EVERYTHING FROM YOUR FAMILY FOR THE HARM AND FRAUD YOU HAVE DONE.
YET, YOU CONTINUE TO ATTACK, BUT I SEE ALREADY YOU ARE WEAK, BECAUSE YOU HAVE DISCOVERED YOU DID WRONG, AND YOU ARE HAVE LEFT YOURSELVES VULNERABLE TO YOUR OWN WRONG DOING.
BECUASE I WAS SO AMAZING TO YOU, YOU HAD TO REACH MY PAST, AND USE THE LIES OF OTHERS, AND MAKE UP ALL TYPES OF LIES, IT WAS YOUR OWN BLAME YOU WHERE FIGHTING, BUT ALSO THE OWN BLAME OF YOUR MOTHER.
YOU ATTACK ME WHERE YOU HAVE YOUR WEAKNESSES, YET, YOU STILL MAY NOT REALICE IT.
BUT WHY DO SUCH A HARM AGAINST ME, AGAINST MY FAMILY, AGAINST YOUR OWN SON, BUT ALSO, IT ALREADY HAS RETURN TO YOU, TO YOUR FAMILY, A HARM THAT WILL BE FOREVER.
NEVERTHELESS, I LOVE YOU….
MY LOVE FOR YOU SURVIVED ALL YOUR HARM, ALL YOUR DESTRUCTION, AND GUESS WHAT, I STILL WANT TO MARRY YOU, I STILL WANT TO SPEND THE REST OF MY LIFE WITH YOU, AND I HOPE, ALL OF THIS WILL MAKE YOU RESPECT ME, AND TRULY LOVE ME, MAYBE …I WAS ALWAYS A DREAMER….
TODAY, JUST WITH YOUR USUAL I AM SORRY, I MESS IT ALL UP, I WIL HOLD YOU AND LOVE YOU LIKE NOTHING EVER HAPPENED, I WILL BECOME IMMEDIATELY THE MAN WHO WILL MAKE ALL YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE, AND I WILL HEAL, EVERY WOUND YOU GOT ON THE WAY, EVEN IF YOU COULD NEVER SEE, EVEN IF YOU WILL NEVER KNOW, THAT YOU BROKE MY HEART INTO PIECES, AND HURT ME LIKE NOBODY ELSE DID.
THIS IS MY LOVE FOR YOU, A LOVE, THAT YOU NEVER SEEMED TO DISCOVER, A LOVE THAT YOU COULD NEVER SEE HOW PRECIOUS IT WAS, A LOVE, SO PURE, YOU COULD SEE THROUGH,
SAM, YOU MAY NEVER KNOW, BUT I WANT YOU AS MY WIFE FOREVER.
BECAUSE I LOVE YOU AND FOREVER WILL.