H-O-L-Y S-H-I-T...what a deal!

>> Monday, September 03, 2007

I was browing the most recent Lunch delux from Publishers Weekly. I always like to see what things are selling, to whom, by whom and of course, how much they're going for.

For those of you who don't subscribe to PW or get their free Lunch every Tuesday, they break down the reported sales figures by $ amount. Here's the scale:

"nice deal" $1 - $49,000
"very nice deal" - $50,000 - $99,000
"good deal" - $100,000 - $250,000
"significant deal" - $251,000 - $499,000
"major deal" - $500,000 and up

I, personally, think its a little screwed up. I think the "good" and "nice" should be switched -- to me, a "nice" deal sounds better (like bigger bucks) than a "good" deal.

But...that's beside the point.

As I'm scanning through romance and then general fiction, I see a lot of "nice deal"s. A "very nice deal" or two.

Then BAM--I hit this:

Sarah Rees Brennan's debut urban fantasy trilogy starting with THE DEMON'S LEXICON, about two brothers hunted throughout England by a powerful magician's circle after their mother steals a charm and when the eldest is marked by a demon, the younger uses swords and dark arts in an effort to save him but unwittingly uncovers the darkest of secrets, to Karen Wojtyla at Margaret K. McElderry Books, in a major deal, at auction, by Kristin Nelson at Nelson Literary Agency (world English).

The key words in here are DEBUT and MAJOR DEAL.

Translated that is her FIRST BOOK sold for over HALF A MILLION DOLLARS.

Okay...excuse me, but H-O-L-Y S-H-I-T.

Wow. That kind of thing just leaves me gapping. All kinds of things flip through my mind--God, she's lucky. Man, that had to be one frigging amazing book. What--they think they found the next Harry Potter series? She's got to be excited out of her skin. Oh, but, man, how do you top that? How do you earn out that advance?

I can't even begin to imagine the whirlwind of emotions involved.

All I can manage is a deer-in-the-headlights H-O-L-Y S-H-I-T.
And here I am trying to knock out those words everyday, which leads me to today's word count: 1216.


Elisabeth Naughton 9:55 AM  

Every time I read about these deals, I'm blown away. ONe part of me thinks, wow, that's so cool but another part of me is glad it's not me. I can't imagine the pressure. I mean, crap, I feel enough pressure now as it is. I can't imagine trying to live up to that deal.

And I agree, the "nice" and "good" should be swapped.

2756 words for me yesterday. I got working and couldn't stop. Way to go on your word count!

Anonymous,  12:32 PM  

Well, the young lady in question is an exceptionally good writer, so any publisher would make that money back in spades, I think. :)

Anonymous,  1:08 PM  

She is actually a really popular Harry Potter slash fanfiction writer. You can read a lot of her stuff online. She already has tons of fans. And she is genuinly extremely good.

But yeah, I had no idea it got sold for THAT much. Wow.

Joan Swan 3:20 PM  

I'm sure she's an excellent writer -- no one gets a contract like that unless they're outstanding. No matter how popular a genre or particular character is, books won't sell unless the writer is good. And it takes a good writer to create those characters and plots that draw the fan base...no doubt about it.

This type of deal shows that if you work hard to become a good/excellent/outstanding writer and find an editor that believes in your work, anything is possible.

Now, what's this fanfiction? I've heard of it before, but I don't understand it.

Romarin 3:47 PM  


Don't know you, but was searching for her name and 'Demon's Lexicon' and stumbled over. Don't maintain a blog, but my lj name is Ceirseach. That said!

Yes, Sarah = mistful on LJ. She writes (bloody good) fanfic, mostly focussed on Draco whom she has a soft spot for. Her two strong points, in my opinion, are her subtle and realistic characterisation and the way she can make you fall over laughing even as she tugs at your heart. And she does have a massive fan following, so not a few guaranteed avid readers to start with.

Wander over to http://mistful.livejournal.com/ sometime, if you're interested. My favourite (I think) starts at http://mistful.livejournal.com/93520.html - there are five chapters so far, plus four from Draco's point of view (called The Way we Get By), and it's not yet finished.

But as to the deal itself - yes, I'd have to put the credit for that to the agent as well as the author!


Anonymous,  3:18 AM  

Hi! I stumbled across your blog when I googled Maya's real name, so I could find out more about her new book. Thanks for that really informative post! I always knew there was a reason I wanted to be a writer - it brings me closer to winning the jackpot. =D Just kidding!

You really don't know what fanfiction is? Now that's a first! I don't know whether you read Harry Potter or not, but if you do, I think you might like her fanfiction. Keep in mind that her stories are mostly centred around "fanon Draco". That is, an interpretation of Draco's character that JKR probably never intended, but that the book series don't have enough evidence to disprove as being totally non-canonical. He's lots of fun!

Here's the link:

My favourites are "Draco Malfoy, the Amazing Bouncing Rat" which practically cries out for a movie version, and "Coda to the Epilogue", as a post-Deathly Hallows story that explores what will happen to the Harry Potter characters twenty years after the defeat of Voldie. The latter is such a favourite among Potter fans that some of them accept it as part of the actual series.

If you're checking out her blog, she's written at least three parodies of the Harry Potter movies, the most recent of which is Order f the Phoenix.

[/End of pimpage] =D


Anonymous,  4:25 AM  

I adore Maya/mistful/Sarah Reese Brennan! She's my favourite author on the internet (and one of my favourite of all time anyway)
I didn't realise she got that brilliant a deal, but she deserves it :-D

Anonymous,  5:34 PM  

I'm not sure she'll live up to the hype. She was an excellent fanfic writer, true. Her books are just not up to par I think. Shoddy world building and I can't say she managed to warm me up to any of her original characters. I have to give it to her, the plot resolution of her first book is pretty brilliant. I don't think that alone is enough.

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