So we’ve all seen The Piece. You know the one. About the advance. I’m not getting into judgement one way or another except to say that it was bold to share that and it got people talking. And talking is good because in publishing there’s a whole lot of not talking because it’s considered… I dunno, uncouth or something.
And yes, you have to arm yourself with knowledge. It’s all out there on the internets. The problem is that the good advice is really very often nestled amongst bad advice. A lot of people are ready to tell you how publishing works, despite having no idea how publishing works. Some people consider this “branding,” like if you present yourself as an expert you’ll be taken more seriously.
I have shot from the hip with advice over the years and some of it has been good and some of it has been bad. I’m still learning. No one has it all figured out and anyone who says they do is lying. I do feel like at this point I know a little about a little–I’ve worked as a publisher, published seven of my own books at both small and large presses, co-authored a book with James Patterson, and navigated the weird and winding road of a bananas book deal with The Warehouse.
And one thing that was really hard to figure out–because there’s no guidebook!–is the financial end. Chuck Wendig touched on it briefly in this very good article about the overall tomfuckery of publishing. It’s a must-read. It also made me think I had some information to share about navigating the financial end of things. Continue reading