Should I go ahead and take this book offer? I'm broke and I need the $$$
June 16, 2014 10:59 AM Subscribe
I would love to hear from anyone who has experience with book publishing, either as an author, editor or publisher.
posted by cartoonella to Media & Arts (14 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I've been co-writing a memoir with a musician for a few years. I won't be the sole author of the book, but I will be the name on the right side of the "with." I'm getting an advance - but the editor who's angling to buy the book from me has implied I'll be getting less money than the musician, who is after all the celebrity and the guy whose face will be selling the book. I get that.
The thing is, I've always heard that you don't take the first offer, but hold out for the best possible figure. However I'm not a literary agent, and I don't have one. I'm a first-time author so I know I won't be able to command that much. The editor I've been able to interest just sent me an email this morning, saying he's drafting the offer right now and I should have it sometime this week.
At this point, I really need some money. Not only will I be unable to finish the book without an advance, but I won't be able to do ANYTHING without some cash right quick. I lost my job nearly a year ago, and my benefits went away a few months ago. We're close to losing our house and our financial life is slipping out of our grasp with each month. It took a couple of years of working with this editor (who hasn't paid me a dime yet) to come up with a manuscript that he wants to pay for. So I'm glad it seems to be happening, FINALLY, but - am I supposed to counter with a higher number, once I receive his first stab at this?
I'm really not inclined to haggle right now. At the moment, any money I receive soon is going to be lifesaving, and I figure I can learn something by way of this experience and maybe start playing hardball with my next book, when I have one publication under my belt and more leverage (I hope).
The other piece of this is that my subject, the guy whose memoir it is, also needs to confirm his offer. I'm not sure if he has an agent or not. At this point I'm hoping there aren't any delays on his end, but I don't know what to expect.
So - take the money and run, or hold out for more? I would value input from anyone who might know how this stuff works from experience, because they've written or published a book before.