Advances: How Can I Find Who Got What?
Today I debut my video blogging. Please go easy on me – I’ve never done this before! I decided that in my video blogs I’ll answer questions readers have sent me via email, Twitter, my Facebook page, or the blog. So if you have a question you want me to answer in a video, send it along one way or another.
“Where can I find information on actual advances writers have received for books?”
The writer noted that the Publishers Marketplace gives a ballpark advance – such as below fifty thousand dollars, or between fifty and one hundred thousand dollars. But they want to know specific advances.
Here’s my answer via video, and the same answer appears written out below.
Publishers don’t give out this information, so the only way to know the amount of someone’s advance is to ask the author. But authors know it’s bad form to discuss the specifics of their book deals—kind of like how you’re not supposed to talk about your salary when you work for a company. Besides just being bad manners, revealing their advance or other specifics of the publishing contract usually violates the confidentiality clause of that contract. So while you CAN find sources that give ballpark information on advances, you won’t find a resource that lists accurate and specific advances on book deals.
By the way, the information on Publishers Marketplace is becoming increasingly unhelpful because it lumps all advances from zero to fifty thousand dollars in one category. But these days, the vast majority of advances are below fifty thousand, and obviously there’s a world of difference between a thousand-dollar advance and a fifty thousand dollar advance. So while we can glean SOME information from the Internet, there’s a lot we also CAN’T find out.
But agents have the birds-eye view, so this is something you can discuss privately with your agent if you have one.
How would it help you to know other authors’ advances? How could it hurt?
(Although I only have the one video up so far!)