Talking about the Six-Figure Advance (Part Two)

Hi! Dominique Gibson is back with another post. So I just recently did a post about the six-figure and even seven-figure advance for a debut author who has no social media presence, no following, nothing but who ends up scoring a “major deal” in the publishing world with a big five publisher. My professor decided to add some more additional information about how the publishing industry really works and if it’s something an author want to consider in the future. Did you miss out on part one of this post? Click down on the link below for more information about what I discussed in part one of the six-figure advance:

Talking about the Six-Figure Advance (Part One)

Here is my professor’s response to the discussion about the six-figure advance:

  • 1. Whenever a publisher buys the rights to a book (they don’t buy the book itself), they do a Profit and Loss statement. This allows them to figure out what they think they will make and offer an advance to the author. If they think it will be a “big” book, they’ll plan to throw promotional and marketing money at it to help it go big. That will also impact how much they offer. 
  • 2. Advances are not paid out in a lump sum. They are paid out in three and sometimes more payments. The first is usually on signing the contract. The second is usually when you’ve turned in the revised draft (so after you’ve gone through the editorial process and the editor has accepted it as ready to move on in the publication process). The third is upon publication. Given that it can take more than a year from signing to publication, that advance is looking smaller and smaller in terms of keeping body and soul together and roof overhead. 
  • 3. Publishers offer an advance based on what they think they will sell in the first six months to a year. Obviously you will sell long after that, but they focus on that first year. Be aware that even if you don’t earn out your advance, they will still have made money. 
  • 4. If your contract is for more than one book and they’ve managed to slip through “basket accounting” on you, then that means that you will not see any royalties until after all the books have been released and you’ve earned out. That can be years. Separate accounting is when a book earns out and you start earning royalties on it, even if the next books don’t earn out. That way you will have a revenue stream. 
  • 5. Publishing is evolving, but it used to be that some publishers would start new authors in hardback and then cancel the contract or not buy any more books if those hardbacks didn’t sell enough, or if the subsequent mass market paperback didn’t sell. Putting new authors in hardback means that people have to spend a lot of money on the risk that they won’t like the book. Some genres have readers who will do that. Other genres (like romance, and urban fantasy, cozy mysteries, and so on), have readers who will not spend that much on a book. 
  • 6. If the publisher hypes you and gets your name out there, or if you have a following from a social media platform or from short story writing or some other work, you will already have fans, even if you’ve not published a novel. But that’s not really what Dominique is talking about. 
  • Now my questions are: what are you thoughts on the process? What would you like to have happen as you set out publishing your first novels? (some of you have publications already, but I think you can still answer the question, since you may not have a large following yet.)
  • Remember that typically you earn 10% of cover price on hardbacks, and 8% of cover price on paperbacks. Electronic versions vary hugely and you can earn anywhere from 15% of cover price, all the way up to 50%, depending on your publisher and your contract. Remember you have to pay out 15-20% of your earnings to your agent, if you have one. Another point to make is that you get paid approximately six months after the royalty period ends.

So, out of all of the responses I’ve read from my peers in this class, the majority of them is not just thinking about doing traditional publishing alone. The majority of them stated that they either: 1. Skip past the traditional publishing route altogether and self-publish their work or 2. Go the hybrid route by self-publishing some books and have other stories sent through a traditional publisher so that they will be able to have the best of both worlds.

What do you think?

Dominique Gibson

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.

Talking about the Six-Figure Advance (Part One):

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.

Dominique

That’s it for this post. I will come out with part two very soon. Stay tuned.

The Bunmens: A Truson S.E.T. Story

Dominique Gibson

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.

Spending time with Toddlers: Wagner Farm

Hi! Dominique Gibson is back with another post. Happy Friday for people who are living in the U.S. and for the rest of the world, I hope you are having a wonderful weekend. I just wanted to do a short post about our recent field trip the toddlers had on Wednesday, August 6th, 2021 at a farm called Wagner’s Farm in Glenview, Illinois. I was extremely proud of the parents dropping off their children early so that they could join us for the trip.

The trip itself was interesting and fun for the children. We first started our day with the children going to the park nearby where they slid down the slide with all of these metal bars on it, making for a very bumpy ride. There was another slide that slid down in a semi circle from top to bottom that the children enjoyed as well. Once the children played at the park, we then went on a tour to see the animals.

There were some children who were scared to see some of the animals while others were excited to see them. We also went on a tractor ride around the farm as well to discover more animals we normally wouldn’t see otherwise.

Overall, it was a pretty good day.

If you would like more information about Wagner Farm, click on the link below for more information.

Wagner Farm

See you soon.

Dominique Gibson

Helpful Tips for Authors:The Success of Self-publishing

Hi! Dominique Gibson is back with another post. To everyone in the U.S. happy Friday! For everyone else, I hope you are enjoying your weekend. So, I decided to pass on this information today about one author’s success about how he turned down a seven figure book deal so he can continue to publish the book himself. He also spent time talking with other writers and found out that being a New York Times bestselling author doesn’t always guarantee you will be given a lot of money when it comes to your advance by the publisher. He also started to realize that some of the things he noticed the publishers doing when it came to signing their authors were some of the things he was already doing himself.

I think that reading this should give all aspiring authors who want to go the self-publishing route the possibility of being successful without having to go the traditional publishing route. I’m pretty sure that if Hugh Howey can do it, so can any writer who wants to go at it alone.

If you are interested in learning more, click on the link down below for more information.

Hugh Howey and the seven-figure advance

That’s it for this post. See you soon.

Dominique Gibson

Spending time with toddlers

Looking at the laybug
Water play

Hi! Dominique Gibson is back with another post. I know it’s been a while since I last posted on my blog but I have been super busy with everything that has been going on so my website took a bit of a hit. But I just thought that since today is Friday and I just didn’t want to talk about my book all day long, I decided to do a short post about my other line of work and what they have discovered lately.

The first picture I took was of a small ladybug they had found on the table outside on the playground. They looked at it and became so fascinated by it that they wanted to touch and play with it. We talked about the ladybug but reminded the children not to disturb it so that it could find his friends.

The next photo was of a small pool in the backyard. Weather permitting, the children had a “water play day” where the children splashed and played in the water outside. Some of the children had a blast while the others stood back and watched as the water sprayed the other children. The children has fun overall.

I guess this will be all for my post on how my day went with toddlers. I will probably do more posts this weekend about how everything else is going. See you soon.

Dominique Gibson

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