Hi! I’m so glad to be back posting on my website! It’s been a crazy couple of weeks considering I have been desperately trying to finish A Phiman’s Betrayal for my thesis class in my MFA program. On top of that, I have been writing and posting an episode of The Bunmens: A Truson S.E.T. Story every Monday on Kindle Vella. If you are interested in checking it out, you can click on the link down below for more information about the story. The first three episodes are FREE there so make sure you head on over to check it out!
Now, onto the reason for this post. For the longest time, I have warned debut authors about the six and seven figure advances in the publishing industry for a while. My argument stems from the fact that having a six or even seven figure advance from a major publisher without having some sort of following to back it up (social media, short stories, etc.) can end up being a potential disaster in the long run. To gain a better perspective on what I am talking about, I have included my long response of what I thought of this situation down below. Since the purpose of my second thesis class was to bring up a topic to discuss with my peers online, I decided to bring up this topic and added what I thought about it.
Hi! So, this is one subject I have been dying to talk about since I found out about the six-figure advance in the publishing industry. I wanted to know what your thoughts are when it comes to a debut author winning a seven-figure advance for their first book without any sort of following whatsoever (No social media, no big event for book signings, etc.). Frankly, I think it’s a big mistake for publishers to give a debut author a high advance without having the author have a huge following behind them. This includes the six-figure and seven-figure deals you normally see in the publishing magazines such as Publisher’s Weekly. Although it could sometimes look as if it’s a dream come true when it comes to this situation, I can’t help but to think it’s a total nightmare for a debut author without a backlist catalog. Why? Because nothing in the publishing world is guaranteed. No matter how much the publishing house may back you when it comes to this deal, the final result is left up to the readers. If the readers don’t like the book or if the book doesn’t generate enough interest for the reader to buy the book, then the chances for that author to make the return on that book is impossible. To make matters worse, that publisher just ruined the author’s chances of getting another book deal in the publishing world since the author didn’t make back the advance that the publisher gave them. In my opinion, that just sucks. As an author, I would want to have a career out of writing my books, not have it based on a ‘one hit wonder’ by a big five publishing house that doesn’t guarantee me any sales as a debut author with a seven-figure deal. If I was an author who had a huge backlist and devoted fans who I know would be reading all of my work (RaeAnne Thayne, Gena Shaowalter, Debbie Macomber, etc.) then having a seven-figure deal wouldn’t be so far fetched because I would have a huge following to back it up. I also think that publishers would be willing to take a chance on an author who has self-published their work and has decided that they want to try to be a hybrid author by sending the publisher a brand new project suited for traditional publishing. Considering what kind of backlist you have, there is a huge possibility that you might receive a bigger advance based on the sales of your self-published work in addition to sales, mailing list, social media presence, etc. but you never know. Would love for people to have thoughts when it comes to this topic.
That’s it for this post. I will come out with part two very soon. Stay tuned.
Dominique Gibson knew she wanted to be a writer ever since she sat down at her plastic table and wrote her first book out of sheer boredom at eight years old. Years later, she decided to go get her Bachelor’s Degree from Columbia College Chicago. She is obtaining her master’s degree in Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University. When not writing, she is busy teaching two year olds at a daycare center in Skokie, IL. For more information, check out her website at https://dominiquegibsonauthor.com/2018/06/23/the-journey-begins/ for more information.