Wendy Stories
September, 1999

I haggled him down 1%

Agent John couldn't swing the book deal with Penguin, yet he wants to be my literary agent. Is he on the up and up? This sounds strongly suspicious. But at least he told me enough about the publishing industry for me to determine that he offers some value. If I land a deal myself, perhaps he could negotiate to close it at a reduced rate.

How do you pick an agent?
Set expectations early and often.
John will not do. His ethics are dubious.

Extensive knowledge of the field, freely shared.
Reputation and references.
Non-exclusive agreement / reduced-rate if negotiation-only.
Requests reasonable percentage.
My deal-signing authority is not ceded.

Negotiating a publishing contract:

  • Renegotiable contract.
  • Marketing investment by publisher ("Amazon angle").

Research & Homework

  • Contact Tom or George to find a contact or contract in this field.
  • Find out what revenue advance is expected.
    10 years ago, rumored $3-4000 for first SF novel.
  • Assemble a media plan to help sell publishers on marketability.

Marketing ideas, some Jacob's:

  • Graphic media: DC's "Big Book of Urban Legends." Fame!
  • Publishing, syndication, stationery, calendar. Tabloids?
  • Web, radio, TV, film.
  • Collectibles <-:

In other news: I learned emacs and etags from Jacob today. Now I can search-and-replace large swags of text using UNIX tools. I promptly changed my broken banner script.

More good news: outgoing eFax is working now. Took some time.
Test my fax! 415.723.7909

An unexpected Sukkot dinner invitation.
Yummy Vita-Mix Tomato Soup with Areiel and Yolanda!

< More About Darwin >
The Party of the Century >

28 September 1999

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