🤔 Advancing

Bookmarked https://blog.ayjay.org/advancing/ (blog.ayjay.org)
Alan Jacobs extends upon Elle Griffin’s discussion around the hard-truths associated with publishing and getting an advance:

Anyway, let’s imagine that I receive a $100,000 advance for a future book. Not impossible by any means. The thing is, and this is the point I think Griffin should lean on more heavily: “advance” is a misleading term. Advances don’t come all at once, they come in stages, either three or four of them, for instance:

  • $25,000 at contract signing;
  • $25,000 at submission of an acceptable (but still to be edited) manuscript;
  • $25,000 at publication of the hardcover;
  • $25,000 at publication of the paperback, or, if the publisher chooses not to make a paperback, one year after the publication of the hardcover.

(Sometimes the unit payments vary: for instance, for Breaking Bread with the Dead my agent negotiated bigger payouts for the first and third stages, smaller ones for the other two.) In a typical situation, after you sign the contract you might need two years to write the book. Supposing that your manuscript is pretty good and just needs editing, that process can take several months, and then getting the book ready for publication can take several more months. And the final payout will come a year after that initial publication. So while a $100,000 advance sounds like a lot of money, it often ends up being $25,000 a year; not nearly enough to live on. 

Advancing by Alan Jacobs

The more I read books about the music industry or interviews with artists, I feel like being a rock star or an author is not always as glamorous as it is sometimes portrayed as?

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