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Who understands the publishing industry?
Old 09-19-2009, 06:23 PM   #1
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Who understands the publishing industry?

My daughter has been a freelance writer for about 7 years. Before that, she worked for a couple of magazines writing articles. All of that paid the bills, but like any writer, she wanted to write the "Great American Novel." As it turns out, she had been working on the GAN and it was recently picked up (via a literary agent) by a major publisher. She got an advance which blows my mind (although she has to produce the follow-on novel as part of the deal.)

I won't reveal the number, but if anyone knows about publishing, what are the low, medium and high advances that budding new authors get for novels? (I recently read in the NYT Review of Books that some guy got a $1M advance for his first novel and that a figure like that was unprecedented.) My daughter's advance is a lower but, to me, an amount that makes me think she is on the literary fast track.

Can anyone give me an perspective on this?


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Old 09-19-2009, 06:31 PM   #2
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I know some people who work for a publishing company and IIRC around $10,000 is an average.


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Old 09-20-2009, 08:36 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by friar1610 View Post
Can anyone give me an perspective on this?
Nolo claims that their typical advance is $6K-$10K. But fiction is reputedly all over the map.

You might try a library copy of Writer's Market.

And congratulations to her!

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Old 09-20-2009, 11:34 AM   #4
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Congratulations ! I hope she has a best seller !
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Old 09-20-2009, 12:18 PM   #5
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No help about standard advance amount, but she was able to pay her bills with her writing and she has an agent, a publisher, and an advance on a novel? That is stupendous--congratulations.
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:22 PM   #6
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Thanks to those who responded. The more I learn, the more it appears that she has gotten a very nice advance indeed. In addition, the editor who has taken her on is apparently an up and comer who recently got her own "imprint" from the publishing house which means she's one of the good editors and is associated with good writers. I personally hadn't heard of most of the authors mentioned in an article about her in a recent Publishers Weekly but the article quoted a VP at the publishing house as saying the editor's “association with a book has come to signify a work of quality with a clear commercial hook, and by emblazoning her name on the book itself our goal is to carry that imprimatur of quality to the reading public.”

The timeline on publishing is such that this book won't hit the streets until winter 2010 (although they seemed to rush Teddy Kennedy's memoir out fairly quickly.) I'll give you the title of the book (not completely determined at this point) and the author's name at an appropriate point.

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