February 7th, 2005

books

another interview

Just a few days ago I posted a link to an interview with Laura Anne Gilman. It must be a good month for such things.... there's a short interview with my client Shirley Karr up on the Simply Romance site. And her advice for writers is: Write, revise, submit. Repeat as needed. And write the kind of stories you most enjoy reading – your passion and pleasure will communicate itself to the reader, and elevate your story-telling skills. This is a tough business, so do everything you can to enjoy the journey, the actual process of writing.
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books

at last some validation...

Tobias Buckell's unofficial poll of sf/f advances (with disclaimers). Interesting, and the numbers don't seem that foreign to my own experience. This also addresses one element of that oft-repeated "to be agented or not to be agented" question AKA So, What Can an Agent Do For Me Anyay?

Regarding first novels:

Broken down by Agented vs. Unagented:
60% of our first time novelists had an agent, the other 40% sold the book without an agent, and a high number indicate they got agents right after or during the sale of the book.

The range in agented advances is from $1500 to $40,000
The average agented advance is $7379
The median agented advance is $5500

The range in unagented advances is from $0 to 13,500
The average unagented advance is $4611
The median unagented advance is $4000

These figures have noticeable differences across the board. Not having an agent looks to cost one well more than the agent's percentage on average, and certainly most of the higher ranging figures come from people with agents.


Regarding career writers with a number of novels:
Broken down by Agented vs. Unagented:
15% of our authors with multiple books sold over multiple years had no agent, out of our sample size their results will have a margin of error of 32%, nonetheless the data is striking:

The range in agented advances is from $1000 to $600,000
The average agented advance is $36,455
The median agented advance is $12,500

The range in unagented advances is from $0 to $21,500
The average unagented advance is $14,143
The median unagented advance is $7500

These figures have noticeable differences across the board. Not having an agent looks to cost one well more than the agent's percentage on average, and certainly most of the higher ranging figures come from people with agents. The average advance via agent differs by as much as a factor of 3! Even with the 32% margin of error added in, the significance is fairly astounding.