As some may know, publishing goes on a kind of hiatus between Christmas and New Years. I’ve always found this strange since it is also when a lot of books are sold, but I also have stopped trying to figure out the whys and wherefores of this industry that provides my income.
So anyway, my agent planned on January 5th to be the day to provide Rhune to a number of editors she thought might enjoy the series. She already gave them warning it was coming and thought it would “go quickly” so she had her ducks in a row. She was right.
Within a few weeks we had multiple offers in, and a few more saying, “Wait for us, we just need a few more days.” One of the offers was from EXACTLY who I wanted, and for an advance that showed they valued me and my work. There were a few points of clarification regarding how many books, which rights would be sold and which would be held back, but none of those were sticking points.
So we did a “reverse pre-empt.” What’s that you may ask? Well, it’s something I made up, but I think it fits. For those that don’t know…a pre-empt is when a publisher makes an offer (usually a very attractive one) and says to the author…sign this now before any of the other offers come in. It’s usually done to prevent an auction where the price goes up and up as publishers are pitted against one another.
When the offer came in from the publisher we are going to publish with, my agent said, “I like the offer, but I think a few more will still come in. A number of people are rushing to get through the process, and I’ve told others who have made offers that they will have to up their advances.”
My reaction, “Tell them not to bother, we’re going to be taking this one.”
Now that sounds really stupid. Why not hear what others have to say? Why not get the BEST deal you can? Well, to me. I DID get the best deal. I got the publisher I wanted and an advance that I felt was in line with the value of the series. If another publisher came back with a slightly higher (or even largely higher) offer, it wouldn’t change the fact that I wanted to work with THAT publisher. Besides, I have every intention of earning out my advance, and so any other offer wouldn’t mean “more money” it would just mean “more money sooner.”
Bottom line, I had the publisher I wanted, a fair price, retained the rights I wanted (foreign and audio)…in short I already got everything I wanted.
All that being said, we don’t have a signed contract yet, but I’m not overly concerned with that. We ironed out the important points before agreeing to the deal. Sure, there will be some back and forth over particular contract points, but this isn’t my first rodeo, and I know what to expect on that front.
I don’t want to say who the publisher is until they may an official announcement. But I’ve already seen a draft of the “Publisher’s Marketplace” announcement and once it is approved by their PR firm and out publicly I’ll come back and tell you more.
For now, what I can say, is I’m thrilled with the choice, and they are too. Always good to be doing with people who you WANT to do business with. I’m very excited.