Your book’s advance: yes, “how much” is important

If you’re writing a book, the happy day may arrive when your agent calls you to let you know she’s had an offer.

At this stage, don’t go mad with euphoria. Keep your wits about you, and be especially careful with the advance against royalties.

Think of your very first book advance in terms of your career. A small advance is not the end of the world, however, it signals that the publisher doesn’t have that much confidence in your book. Low confidence equals a low first printing, and a low first printing means that your book won’t be widely available, which means that sales will be low.

If sales are low, when you try to sell your next book, your publisher will look at the sales figures, and will decide that since sales were low, the house won’t make an offer. (Yes, this is how publishing works.)

A friend was recently offered a miniscule advance on her first novel, and she declined it. She and her agent have decided that she should go ahead and write books two and three in the series.

There’s a chance that offered a series, a publisher may pick the strongest book, and will offer a larger advance. Maybe. There are no certainties.

So remember, when you’re offered an advance, this advance can dictate the rest of your writing career. Think about it before you accept a low offer.

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Angela Booth is a top copywriter, multi-published author, and writing teacher. She offers many guides, courses and classes to help writers to enhance their skills on her websites. She also provides inspiration and motivation for writers on her writing blogs. Angela has been writing successfully since the late 1970s, and was online in the 1980s, long before the birth of the Web. Her business books have been widely published.