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Sirion
02-17-2009, 07:45 AM
By the grace of the Fates, you write a novel and Penguin agrees to publish it. Your agent (somehow) negotiates your advance to one million dollars.

What's the first thing you do?

Haggis
02-17-2009, 07:48 AM
Buy a whole bunch of lottery tickets.

brokenfingers
02-17-2009, 07:54 AM
If the novel was completed and accepted as is? Probably take a few weeks off and take a little vacation. Charge up my creative-writing cells.

Then sell my condo and buy a house somewhere conducive to some serious writing and get busy.

DamaNegra
02-17-2009, 07:54 AM
I said I'd run and scream, but mostly I'd just stay in a catatonic shock state for at least a year.

Chumplet
02-17-2009, 08:00 AM
I'd dance a lot, too.

After reading John Elder Robison's account of what happens to a million dollar advance, I'd keep my day job for a while and crank out some more novels.

Toothpaste
02-17-2009, 08:00 AM
I'd so go on a vacation. I really want to go to New Zealand. I'd probably also take my friends and family out for a meal.

Then I'd put the rest in savings. Because I am boring.

StoryG27
02-17-2009, 08:03 AM
After I picked myself up off the floor from fainting, I'd run outside screaming and dancing, then I'd realize it was probably a practical joke and start plotting my evil revenge on the prankster.

Judg
02-17-2009, 08:04 AM
I vote for a state of catatonic shock, for sure.

Ambrosia
02-17-2009, 08:08 AM
First, I would tell my husband. Then, I would hire a tax specialist so I would have more of that money left to spend.

Clair Dickson
02-17-2009, 08:12 AM
After I could breathe again, I'd pick myself up off the floor and tell Hubby.

Then I'd begin making plans to pay off the house and figure out how much money to put in the bank so I could live off the interest (hopefully.)

Then, Hubby would probably want to celebrate with dinner out. I'm not sure that would be a good idea, because I'd probably be all dopey from excitement and disbelief.

Then, I'd spend a lot of time daydreaming about my new future.

firedrake
02-17-2009, 08:13 AM
Phone an accountant, figure out how to make the most of the dosh.

Get the feck outta this town and move somewhere where it rains and stuff.

nitaworm
02-17-2009, 08:24 AM
Well to be honest, there is nothing I want, or want to do that I am not able to do for myself or family now. So, I'll just start on the next book. I already work 2 jobs and wrote my first novel (rather quickly for the first time I wrote selfishly - outside of work). Writing is like, vacation to me. So, I'll put the money in the bank (or some investments) then keep writing, cause truthfully 1 million doesn't go that far. Just add up how much you have earned (before taxes) in your lifetime, then you will realize that you have probably already made your 1st million.

Ugawa
02-17-2009, 08:31 AM
1) Pass out

2) Cry in a heap on the floor because I'd just realized I'd never have to work a day in my life.

XX

Claudia Gray
02-17-2009, 08:33 AM
After some shrieking, I'd call up a realtor and start looking for a nice apartment or house to buy. And I'd pay cash!

Barb D
02-17-2009, 08:34 AM
Tell my kids that they can go to the colleges of their choice without having loans. (This is imminent; my 17yo is at this moment deciding between a private $$$ school with loans or a state school without them. He's been accepted to both.)

Pay off the house.
Pay off the credit cards.
Pay off the cars.

Then start the next novel.

Cranky
02-17-2009, 09:14 AM
Dance. Badly.

Then call the hubby, and start work on the next book. I doubt I'd see any money from that for quite some time, so we'd have plenty of time to decide what to do.

leenakincaid
02-17-2009, 09:29 AM
Tell the agent I love her, and put the money into savings.

Shurikane
02-17-2009, 09:29 AM
Now that is the perfect occasion to go out and eat some sushi!

Bartholomew
02-17-2009, 09:38 AM
By the grace of the Fates, you write a novel and Penguin agrees to publish it. Your agent (somehow) negotiates your advance to one million dollars.

What's the first thing you do?

I wake up. I discover that it is six o'clock in the morning, meaning I slept too long. I quickly make breakfast for my car pool and rush out the door so that I can drive to three houses in the pitch dark of night. Later, after wrestling with rush hour traffic, I'll find a parking spot at the school that is, at bare minimum, one hundred yards from my first class -- which will be starting in six minutes.

I will then realize that I left my binder full of blank paper at home, meaning that I have nothing to take notes on. I'll arrive two minutes late, winded and gasping, to discover that the teacher has locked the door. I will pray to wake up, but I only wake up from $1,000,000 book deals.

With luck, the sweet release of death will keep me from working on my poor abused novel later that evening.

Mel
02-17-2009, 09:39 AM
Move. We're tired of being smushed between two houses. I want space and privacy. Then my husband would tell me to hurry up and write another book.

Lyra Jean
02-17-2009, 09:47 AM
Pay off my student loans. Pay off my car. Get my fiance a new car. Buy a house. Put the rest to college for my MA and savings if any is left. Work on the next novel. Don't tell anyone I have a lot of money.

Red.Ink.Rain
02-17-2009, 09:55 AM
Pay off tuition and student loans while laughing hysterically.

Palmfrond
02-17-2009, 10:26 AM
Worry. I'll never make this advance back, and no publisher will ever give me the time of day again. The end of my career.

Storm Dream
02-17-2009, 10:27 AM
Pay off my loans.

Probably my brother's loans, too, just to be nice.

After that, eat a cake.

Then nap.

Then get back to work? :)

Willowmound
02-17-2009, 12:19 PM
Worry. I'll never make this advance back, and no publisher will ever give me the time of day again. The end of my career.

This is the reason I would ask them to not give me that much. If I make a million on royalties, great. If not, well then I'm pretty much screwed with an advance like that, no?

JJ Cooper
02-17-2009, 12:29 PM
Politely decline and instruct the agent to go to auction.

JJ

JimmyB27
02-17-2009, 01:44 PM
I'd go "Why is my UK publisher paying me in dollars?".

Wayne K
02-17-2009, 03:14 PM
Buy a whole bunch of lottery tickets.
I would fire Haggis as my accountant, and help promote his stand up routine.
Honestly, the first thing I would do is drop the bomb here, and then I'd throw some money to whomever it is from this site that's being sued for having the nerve to write about predatory agents. I forget this second who it is.

Willowmound
02-17-2009, 03:27 PM
It's me. Yeah. Just send the money now.

willietheshakes
02-17-2009, 04:30 PM
Twins.

Cyia
02-17-2009, 04:38 PM
Shock.

Then dancing/screaming.

NEVER bragging to people who would start asking for chunks of it at regular intervals.

Assuming the book is finished, editted, and in its final form, I'd go on a vacation while trying not to think about the expectation of a book to earn out a million dollars.

Start on another book. (or finish on from the drawer)

DeleyanLee
02-17-2009, 04:48 PM
I'd believe it when the check(s) showed up, so life would continue as normal. I'd invest it until I knew I didn't have any problems delivering the goods (but I intend to do that with any advance I receive, just in case). But a million isn't that much anymore, so after paying off student loans (mine and kids) and otherwise get debt-free, I'd consider an extended vacation somewhere (companion comp'd), finish investing whatever was left and then get back to the daily routine that worked well enough to produce such a book in the first place.

Nakhlasmoke
02-17-2009, 04:48 PM
Probably die of shock.

Heh. Plus I'd be a multi-millionare thanks to the exchange-rate. House! Paid off! Debts! Paid off! Rest! Invested!


Then I'd do my damned best to write a better book, and to promote the one sold.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
02-17-2009, 04:48 PM
Have a quiet sit-down with my financial advisor, then pay off EVERYTHING and stuff the rest of it in a fund that will pay Ol' Boy and me a monthly stipend. Then I would sit down with Ol' Boy and help him write his resignation letter.

scarletpeaches
02-17-2009, 04:51 PM
Damn right I'd brag about it to people who'd ask for a chunk just for the pleasure of saying no.

And I don't have any debts to pay off so it'd all be mine. :D

CaroGirl
02-17-2009, 04:59 PM
First, I'd definitely do the running outside screaming thing. And then I'd call and email everyone I know to tell them, starting with husband and children. And then I'd go to dinner, pay off my mortgage, max out our retirement savings plan and education savings plan contributions and, if there was anything else left over, I'd take the whole fam damily to Europe for as long as I could afford it.

Yup. That's what I would do.

Marian Perera
02-17-2009, 05:52 PM
NEVER bragging to people who would start asking for chunks of it at regular intervals.

Yes, I could see some relatives putting the pressure on for that one.

Bubastes
02-17-2009, 06:01 PM
Pay off the mortgage, invest the rest, set aside a little bit for a nice dinner out, give my three weeks notice at the day job, then get back to work on my WIP.

Oh, and I wouldn't tell anyone about my good fortune. I'd rather keep them guessing. :D

Kate Thornton
02-17-2009, 07:28 PM
I'd get busy on the next book, post here in Goals & Accomplishments that the book sold, take my agent out to dinner - in Rome - and smile a lot.

WendyNYC
02-17-2009, 07:40 PM
I'd use a big chunk of it to promote the book, then I'd invest the rest.

I know. Boring.

Have a party? Is that better?

Samantha's_Song
02-17-2009, 07:48 PM
I'd buy myself an apartment in Paris and spend my afternoons sitting outside Parisian cafes and writing more novels.

BenPanced
02-17-2009, 08:14 PM
Wake up.

Treat myself for possible concussion.

Change my pants.

Hire a really good accountant.

Tell my mother that if she tells my younger sister about it, Mom's getting put into the worst nursing home I can find.

Spend the next six months in London working on the sequel.

scarletpeaches
02-17-2009, 08:16 PM
Yes, I could see some relatives putting the pressure on for that one.

That's part of the fun. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the easiest way to make my whore of a mother show up again is to start earning money.

Oh the pleasure to refuse her and wave at her in the gutter from the comfort of my Testarossa...

Tepelus
02-17-2009, 08:28 PM
A) Tell friends and family. Celebrate.
B) Pay off all my debt.
C) Build/buy a nice house on/with about ten to twenty acres
D) Start a daylily farm on said acreage, with greenhouses
E) Continue working on consecutive books while doing all of the above
F) Save the rest

tehuti88
02-17-2009, 08:41 PM
I was going to say I'd probably cry (in a good way), but knowing me, I'd put off any sort of huge reaction whatsoever until the money is actually in my hands (bank account, whatever, however it works). I'm just paranoid that way. Once I have the money THEN perhaps I'd squeal with joy or cry or whatever.

Then I'd probably set to work figuring out how to pay off bills and fix the house up and whatnot since I'm just boring and practical that way. Though I bet I'd take a nice overnight trip to Mackinac Island. :D

Well, I told you I'm boring!

Kats
02-17-2009, 08:43 PM
I'd phone people and brag about selling it...but not tell them the exact amount. Eat cake! And buy a top floor flat with really good sound proofing and a roof terrace.

Williebee
02-17-2009, 08:47 PM
Scream and holler. Then get to work. They paid for something. They deserve to get it. So, now I'm on their dime. (And it is a really, really big dime.)

:)

Palmfrond
02-17-2009, 08:49 PM
This is the reason I would ask them to not give me that much. If I make a million on royalties, great. If not, well then I'm pretty much screwed with an advance like that, no?

I would think so.

deserata
02-17-2009, 09:45 PM
I'd pay off the last of my tuition/student loans.
Then I'd go on a few trips to countries I still haven't seen/want to go back to.
Buying a car that is not 17 years old would be nice, too.
And then I'd put the rest into savings...if there were anything left. :)

HelloKiddo
02-17-2009, 11:30 PM
I voted for die. That would freak me out. Who'd wanna pay a million dollars for the crap I'm writing? I'm suspicious enough about anybody who wants to read it.

I'd decline out of paranoia and go into hiding.

Cranky
02-17-2009, 11:32 PM
Tell the agent I love her, and put the money into savings.

This, too. :D

M.R.J. Le Blanc
02-18-2009, 12:05 AM
Bye bye debts! Mine, my mom's AND my sister's. Get myself and my mom new clothes, makeover my bedroom and mom's bedroom. Save the rest until it's enough to buy a house outright - no morgage for me.

kaitlin008
02-18-2009, 12:13 AM
I'd tell all the important people (my boyfriend, my parents, his parents, my sister) and then pay off my and my sister's student loans, pay off the car, buy a nice house, & buy something nice for my parents, since I don't think they have anything that needs to be paid off at this point.

And I'd put most of the rest into savings.

Alpha Echo
02-18-2009, 12:14 AM
Not so long ago, without hesitation, I would have said the first thing I would do was give enough money to my then-husband so that he could get up-to-date on his pilot ratings. Then I would have taken him on some crazy vacation.

Now...I'd scream outside at the top of my lungs. Then pay my debt. Then put it somewhere safe to save it.

scarletpeaches
02-18-2009, 12:25 AM
Scratch everything I said before. I'd blow it all (fnarr) on one night with Colin Farrell. Strippers, coke, Jack Daniel's, whips, chains, parakeets, you name it.

Brindle Chase
02-18-2009, 12:45 AM
The first thing I would do would be to go celebrate with friends and family. Once done, I would tell my agent/editor to withhold the advance and pay me as the royalties roll in instead ( I have this dire fear of credit and an advance is basically that. If my book flopped and I spent the million, I would owe!). And then begin working on a sequel.

scarletpeaches
02-18-2009, 12:51 AM
If you spend an advance and it doesn't earn out, you don't have to pay it back.

The Lady
02-18-2009, 01:20 AM
Quit my day job. Write more. :D

Brindle Chase
02-18-2009, 01:48 AM
If you spend an advance and it doesn't earn out, you don't have to pay it back.


Indeed? I looked at a couple template contracts and legal-ese is hard to discern, but I got the impression an advance is a pre-emptive payment on expected royalties to be earned... but if it doesnt earn out, you dont have to pay it back???? That's good news indeed! *lol*

In that case, I'd pay off all debt, buy a nicer house and start writing the sequel!

scarletpeaches
02-18-2009, 01:53 AM
Yep, an advance is given against royalties you're expected to earn (given, not loaned) and when your royalties have 'paid back' your advance for you, you're then paid in further royalties earned.

But the good news is, as you're given an advance, if your book doesn't earn out, so what? You still get to keep the money!

But as has been mentioned, if you consistently fail to earn out, you're less likely to get such a generous advance in future. If at all.

Brindle Chase
02-18-2009, 02:55 AM
But as has been mentioned, if you consistently fail to earn out, you're less likely to get such a generous advance in future. If at all.

*lol* I imagine so! If I am ever so lucky to get a million advance, I pray my book earns out to make it worth their investment.

willietheshakes
02-18-2009, 03:43 AM
Scratch everything I said before. I'd blow it all (fnarr) on one night with Colin Farrell. Strippers, coke, Jack Daniel's, whips, chains, parakeets, you name it.

With the exception of Colin Farrell, that sounds a LOT like how I spent my first advance.

Lilith70
02-18-2009, 04:05 AM
Once the money is in hand (and I assume that it's for a book that is worth $1 million), I'd let the hubby know that he can take the kids on their individual one-on-one vacations and that he has slightly more of a budget than he thought. And then I'd take away his bank card and make him use the PayPal card that I transfer money onto...

And then I'd pay off some debt, maybe pay ahead on the mortgage a little (I like having that interest write-off every year), and I'd keep my day job but buy better computers for it. And also pay my soul-sister to stick around and nanny the kids while I do tours and promotions. And maybe whisk the hubby off on a short vacation. And then paid for the kids' tuition so they can stop being lazy on their homework and have someone to be accountable to.

And then... well, then there's books to write. (I said "Start the next novel" because... well, that's what I've already done, and I didn't even get an advance yet. Or even gotten it in front of an agent.)

James81
02-18-2009, 04:49 AM
I'd make history by going up to the dollar menu at McDonalds and buying a million things.

With all the press and attention I'd get from that, I'd be sure to double my income just for shits and giggles. :tongue

Seriously, I'd probably faint out of sheer euphoria. When I came too, i'd pay off all my debts, buy a house, new car, new furniture, and spoil my kids rotten.

I'd invest the rest and live off the interest I made from that and quit my job and write full time. Maybe even go back to school.

Wayne K
02-18-2009, 04:52 AM
I'm with James. I'd really like to go to school. Maybe take art.

scarletpeaches
02-18-2009, 04:54 AM
If you're earning that sort of money why bother going back to school?

James81
02-18-2009, 04:58 AM
If you're earning that sort of money why bother going back to school?

Because I'm not sure I could ever be a full time writer. Maybe for a little while.

I would either have to work a part time job, or go back to school to do something that I truly loved.

If I were able to live off my writing alone, I would go back to school to do something that I thought might make a difference and work in something for the sheer satisfaction the job gave me and not the paycheck it brings.

Like teaching or counselling or psychology. Something like that.

scarletpeaches
02-18-2009, 05:11 AM
Writing makes a difference.

If I went back to school when would I have time to make fun of poor people?

swvaughn
02-18-2009, 05:33 AM
If I had a million dollars, I'd buy a green dress.
(But not a real green dress. That's cruel.)

:D

Wayne K
02-18-2009, 05:36 AM
If you're earning that sort of money why bother going back to school?
Because it would give me something to think about when I'm not writing.

Memnon624
02-18-2009, 09:16 AM
Keep in mind that with a million dollar advance you generally don't get the whole thing upfront. You get it in stages as certain parameters are met (a portion upon acceptance, another portion once you turn in the edited ms, another portion when it's published, etc.). And unless you're some kind of celebrity that million will be part of a multi-book deal . . .

But, yeah . . . I'd run outside and scream my damn fool head off.

Scott

Fade
02-18-2009, 09:44 AM
Okay, I was torn between "Die" and "Run outside and yell at the top of my lungs" (I picked the second).

In real life, this is probably what would happen:

Me: Oh, No, there's a decimal missing!
Someone else(either my mom or agent, I guess): No, there's not!
Me: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

Then I'd probably become a high-school drop out because I wouldn't want to wake up before ten ever in my life.

It's a good thing I probably won't get that much of an advance. But any advance would be good for me. I swear, if I just got a thousand dollars I'd be like "A thousand dollars! I've never had that much money! OMG, celebration time!" That's because whenever I see a large amount of money (Yes, I'm fourteen so I still think a thousand dollars is a large amount of money) I lose the ability to see how much it is compared to other large amounts of money. Anything over 500 is more than I'll ever save up with chore-money.

So maybe I'm slightly stupid here. Stupid makes me happier.

Marie
02-18-2009, 09:53 AM
I'd probably put some away for when I move out and help my little brother pay for college..
after I finish running around and screaming.

lkp
02-18-2009, 04:40 PM
If I had a million dollars, I'd buy a green dress.
(But not a real green dress. That's cruel.)

:D

I'd buy a nice chesterfield or an ottoman.

KTC
02-18-2009, 04:42 PM
It wouldn't happen to me. Nothing good happens. They would like it, but not enough.

KTC
02-18-2009, 04:42 PM
I'd buy a nice chesterfield or an ottoman.

Or a green dress. But not a real green dress. That's cruel.

Wayne K
02-18-2009, 04:42 PM
Writing makes a difference.

If I went back to school when would I have time to make fun of poor people?
You can always drop by my place.

Bubastes
02-18-2009, 05:42 PM
I'd buy a nice chesterfield or an ottoman.

I'd buy you some art (like a Picasso or a Garfunkel).

I love that song.

scarletpeaches
02-18-2009, 07:17 PM
I would buy a davenport.

HeronW
02-18-2009, 07:27 PM
Then I'd take my SO out to dinner and go over plot points :}

James81
02-18-2009, 07:28 PM
Writing makes a difference.

If I went back to school when would I have time to make fun of poor people?

Make fun of them in your writing. :tongue

With me, I've been working a job since I was 12 years old. While I would really enjoy having some time off, I think that after a few months to up to a year I would be itching to return to some sort of work.

I'm not so sure that I'll ever be able to make writing my primary vocation. I'd love to get the break for a while, and I hope that I am successful enough with my writing to never HAVE to work another job again, but I'm the type that I know I'll do SOMETHING, I'll always work SOME job, even if it's just part time.

In fact, another thing I'd LOVE to do is to either own or work in a bookstore. I could see myself doing that.

Nivarion
02-18-2009, 07:28 PM
bye bye debt, hello next novel.

Inarticulate Babbler
02-19-2009, 02:08 AM
Well, since I live in Maine--who takes half once you reach a million--I'd pay my taxes and move. And since I'm always working on my next novel, just get good internet, a small fridge and some soda for my writing room (probably still my bedroom), and watch my wife spend the rest on bills and the kids.

Tepelus
02-19-2009, 03:50 AM
I'd buy you a monkey, haven't you always wanted a mon-kee!

KTC
02-19-2009, 04:18 AM
I would buy a davenport.


I would buy Daven a port.

WerenCole
02-19-2009, 06:21 AM
Haven't gone through the thread. Has anybody said "get wildly drunk?"

MoonWriter
02-19-2009, 09:33 AM
1. Tell my wife
2. Put the check in the bank
3. Give some $ to my church
4. Make a sizeable contribution to AW
5. Over the next few years, travel to Europe, take a cruise, go skiing, tour the east coast again (maybe on motorcycles) and travel to Europe again.

JimmyB27
02-20-2009, 03:55 AM
Haven't gone through the thread. Has anybody said "get wildly drunk?"
I think that one pretty much goes without saying.

KikiteNeko
02-20-2009, 04:02 AM
I'd totally buy an apartment. Yes, right after I hung up the phone. I need it that much.

gothicangel
02-20-2009, 10:35 PM
Pay off my debts. Syphion off 10% for charities I want to donate too. Pay off my parent's debts. Then I would start shopping around for a nice house.

Oh yes; quit work.

The Lonely One
02-20-2009, 10:44 PM
I'd give up writing for the luxurious lifestyle of driving a Lotus and living in a mansion with a butler named Alfred. I'd scoff writers from my throne (in the antechamber--of course!) while my soldiers pour hot tar and feathers on the J.k.'s and Meyers' and Koonts' that made it past the alligators in the moat, looking for a loan.

What? How much does J.K. have?

:(

RunawayScribe
02-20-2009, 11:32 PM
Run outside and scream. Most definitely. Then I'd hug everyone I saw for the next week or so, grinning like an idiot and being overjoyed constantly.

THEN I'd start another novel :D

Bubastes
02-20-2009, 11:51 PM
Well, since I live in Maine--who takes half once you reach a million--I'd pay my taxes and move.

Wow, half? What percentage of Maine's annual budget is funded by Stephen King?

unicornjam
05-10-2009, 01:17 AM
I'm assuming $1M after taxes and in a land where it's up-front. :P

$25K goes to charities.
$25K goes to me and family for fun.
$100K goes to college. (If I transfer to a ~fancy school.)
$850K goes to investments.

dgrintalis
05-10-2009, 01:24 AM
After I stop hyperventilating, I would pay off my debts and buy a yellow Smart car. I would buy my husband a motorcycle and then, I would get back to writing.

som1luvsmi
05-10-2009, 01:36 AM
I put that I would run and scream. Then I would hire someone to watch my kids while we're on vacation so that we could do somethings together, and somethings just for grown ups. Then, when we got back, I'd buy another laptop so that I wouldn't have to share while writing my next book.:) Oh! and I'd buy puppy! I've always wanted a puppy.

bettielee
05-10-2009, 01:45 AM
I would find somewhere to live that consists of more than 1 room, a bathroom and a kitchen. A very small kitchen.

And then I would write in that place. On a really nice desk.

jodiodi
05-10-2009, 03:21 AM
I'd sell our current house and buy one with a trophy kitchen (those McMansions are going cheap now--but I'd prefer an historic Victorian). I'd buy my husband a new vehicle. Give 10% to my churches (off the top, of course). Start an animal shelter on my land in Georgia and hire people who've fallen on hard times ane are homeless now, to take care of the critters. That way I could help both groups at the same time. Then put the rest in various savings accounts and live off the interest. Of course, I'd keep writing.

wannawrite
05-10-2009, 04:03 AM
Buy myself ten pairs of electric blue ostrich skin cowboy boots.

CheshireCat
05-10-2009, 04:32 AM
This is the reason I would ask them to not give me that much. If I make a million on royalties, great. If not, well then I'm pretty much screwed with an advance like that, no?

Your agent would shoot you. And she'd be right to. That size advance is a signal that the pub is going to promote the daylights out of the book, and you'd be shooting yourself in the foot by humbly offering to take less up front. Take the money and work on the second book, which you will hopefully sell before the first comes out.


I'd use a big chunk of it to promote the book, then I'd invest the rest.

I know. Boring.

Have a party? Is that better?

The pub is going to promote. You'd probably be asked to go on tour (depending on the pub), but shelling out of your own pocket after being handed a million-dollar advance would not be wise. The pub can spend millions and reach a nation-wide audience with their advertising. What would you propose to do?


I'd make history by going up to the dollar menu at McDonalds and buying a million things.

With all the press and attention I'd get from that, I'd be sure to double my income just for shits and giggles. :tongue

Seriously, I'd probably faint out of sheer euphoria. When I came too, i'd pay off all my debts, buy a house, new car, new furniture, and spoil my kids rotten.

I'd invest the rest and live off the interest I made from that and quit my job and write full time. Maybe even go back to school.

I realize we're in fantasyland here, but, people ... Your agent is taking 15% off the top, so that's a hundred and fifty grand. And since you've just been booted into a higher tax bracket, you're handing a healthy percentage over to dear old Uncle Sam (or whichever "uncle" collects the tax money in your country). If you're very, very lucky, you may be left with $500k -- and though that sounds like a lot, it won't go far. Trust me. It sure as hell won't set you for life.


Keep in mind that with a million dollar advance you generally don't get the whole thing upfront. You get it in stages as certain parameters are met (a portion upon acceptance, another portion once you turn in the edited ms, another portion when it's published, etc.). And unless you're some kind of celebrity that million will be part of a multi-book deal . . .

But, yeah . . . I'd run outside and scream my damn fool head off.

Scott

And there's that. The question probably should have been phrased: Your next novel gets you a $1,000,000 signing bonus (one check for the whole amount, minus the agent's commission if the pub splits checks; a check from your agent for $850,000,000 if the money goes to her/him first). So what do you do with the loot?

And my points stand. It's not as much loot as you might think, and won't go nearly far enough for most fantasyland dreams.

Just sayin'.


I'm assuming $1M after taxes and in a land where it's up-front. :P

$25K goes to charities.
$25K goes to me and family for fun.
$100K goes to college. (If I transfer to a ~fancy school.)
$850K goes to investments.

You really are in fantasyland, huh? :D

And about those investments? With a worldwide recession, it might net you more to stuff the money in your mattress ...

Anybody else avoiding so much as a glance at their 401K or other retirement accounts?

bettielee
05-10-2009, 05:09 AM
Way to harsh the realm, CheshireCat

polleekin
05-10-2009, 05:42 AM
I realize we're in fantasyland here, but, people ... Your agent is taking 15% off the top, so that's a hundred and fifty grand. And since you've just been booted into a higher tax bracket, you're handing a healthy percentage over to dear old Uncle Sam (or whichever "uncle" collects the tax money in your country). If you're very, very lucky, you may be left with $500k -- and though that sounds like a lot, it won't go far. Trust me. It sure as hell won't set you for life.

Well, $500k would still set me for the next 10 years or more.

But I have very boring fantasyland dreams. :D Pay mortgage! Get health insurance!

ABekah
05-10-2009, 06:06 AM
I'd probably wake up from that dream. Then get to work trying to make it happen.

JulieHowe
05-10-2009, 06:41 AM
As soon as that million-dollar check cleared the bank, I'd buy a one-way ticket out of Los Angeles, and I'd be gone before the sun went down. Where? I don't know. Anywhere but here.

CheshireCat
05-10-2009, 06:46 AM
Way to harsh the realm, CheshireCat

Sorry.

Just trying to keep it real.

:D

CheshireCat
05-10-2009, 06:48 AM
Well, $500k would still set me for the next 10 years or more.

But I have very boring fantasyland dreams. :D Pay mortgage! Get health insurance!


Hey, it sounds smart to me. One of the biggest mistakes writers make is not planning for the future.

If I had it all to do over again, there are definitely a few changes I'd make in how I've handled the money.

Always go for security, because this business is as insecure as you imagine. Times ten.

Old Hack
05-10-2009, 12:02 PM
I agree with all that Cheshire Cat has written here.

$1m isn't that much after you've paid your agent and the tax man; and while it would be very tempting to splurge, it would be wise to only splurge a little bit. Because in the UK at least, you wouldn't be able to buy a big house AND afford to live for a few years off an advance of $1m.

I'd advise people to get themselves adequately (not extravagantly) housed; and then find some sort of business to spend the rest of the money on. A business that will bring in some money for you to live on while writing your next book, without reducing your capital.

If you spend it all now, where will you be in ten years' time? Back where you are now, but with a book to your credit. If you invest it wisely then in ten years' time you'll have that book on Amazon still, a nice little business or two keeping you fed and watered, and time to write too.

unicornjam
05-10-2009, 07:27 PM
Debbie Downer! If I had $500K-850K to invest, I'd be insane to keep it under a mattress and not invest for the long-term. I'm still very young; the recession won't last forever.

Adam
05-10-2009, 07:45 PM
I'd run round in circles yelling "Woooo!" for an hour or two, then sit down and continue work on the next book.

CheshireCat
05-11-2009, 12:54 AM
Debbie Downer! If I had $500K-850K to invest, I'd be insane to keep it under a mattress and not invest for the long-term. I'm still very young; the recession won't last forever.


That was a joke, Unicorn.

More or less.

;)

bettielee
05-11-2009, 02:55 AM
Sorry.

Just trying to keep it real.

:D


We don't need any more of that filth, here, thank you.

CheshireCat
05-11-2009, 04:05 AM
We don't need any more of that filth, here, thank you.

Even Imaginationland had its negative side, you know.

(For all you South Park fans.)

Little Earthquake
05-11-2009, 05:59 AM
When I found out, I would cry. I don't think I'd be capable of coherent thought or speech for a couple of hours.

Once I regained coherence, though, I'd walk into my "day job" and hand them my two weeks' notice, then pay off all my debts, and buy myself a shiny new laptop and start on my next book.

Sirion
05-11-2009, 06:14 AM
Awww, people necroed my thread. I feel so loved.

Pagey's_Girl
05-12-2009, 02:08 AM
I'd run outside and scream "YESSSSSSS!" Even if we're talking before my agent's cut and taxes and whatever, that would still nicely plump up my bank account. :D

After that I'd start plotting out my next novel. I don't think I'd quit my day job yet, though. In fact, I'd probably not tell anyone there about it at all. Not at that time.

marie2
05-12-2009, 05:13 AM
Be ridiculously happy and dance around. Tell my agent that I adore him/her. Go to the supermarket and buy some champagne. Then pay off some bills. And then get cracking on the novel.

Dirtpoor
05-12-2009, 08:57 AM
What a nice daydream.

I would hire a cleaner because I HATE housework. The rest would be invested in real estate.

Shamisen
05-12-2009, 11:59 AM
Other - I believe my exact response would be to wet my pants.

emilycross
05-12-2009, 12:09 PM
I would first - yell and scream and be merry

then i would curse the exchange rate - €736,703 doesn't sound as nice as $1m


you've just been booted into a higher tax bracket

This is why i love my country, where artists are exempt from income tax - mwahahahahaha

Ms Hollands
05-12-2009, 04:37 PM
I'm be quietly proud of myself and grin from ear-to-ear for an hour, while looking at properties for sale that are suitable for a full-time writer. I'd quit my day job, but I'd be nice to my boss and work for him until he could find someone else just out of the goodness of my own heart.

I'd also go out for a quiet dinner at a Michelin star restaurant just because it's something I can't justify doing on my current lowly wage.

Wayne K
05-12-2009, 05:36 PM
I'm going to spend it all on candy.

Little Earthquake
05-12-2009, 09:05 PM
This is why i love my country, where artists are exempt from income tax - mwahahahahaha

I would use my advance to move where Emily Cross is, so my NEXT million wouldn't be taxed ;)

emilycross
05-13-2009, 01:38 AM
I would use my advance to move where Emily Cross is, so my NEXT million wouldn't be taxed ;)


Yup the land of saints, scholars, Yeats, Stoker, Shaw and Beckett ;)

DWSTXS
05-13-2009, 03:45 AM
The next morning, I'd go to work an hour late, walk into the owners office, give him the finger, tell him to shove it up his A, then walk out laughing, and then I'd book a 10 day cruise.

jfreedan
05-14-2009, 10:38 PM
Convince my publisher to send the advance to my company, so the tax issue is avoided.

People that win big lotteries form companies to avoid the heavy tax fine.

:)

Little Earthquake
05-15-2009, 12:40 AM
Yup the land of saints, scholars, Yeats, Stoker, Shaw and Beckett

I've heard of this place...where the history comes from?

virtue_summer
05-15-2009, 01:09 AM
Tell everyone I know about the book deal, but not mention the amount of money. Then pay off student loans, buy a small house, and fix the air conditioning in my car.

Fulk
05-15-2009, 06:45 AM
I'd be shouting out at the top of my lungs, be extremely excited and overwhelmed, and then settle into it. Then I'd begin panicking as I realize that if I don't earn that advance, they're not going to be so generous next time around.

Lavern08
05-15-2009, 11:34 PM
* First, I wouldn't tell a soul

* Next, I'd give 10% to charity

* Then, I'd put the rest in the bank and pinch off it when needed (maybe take a 7-day cruise to Bermuda)

;)

Chasing the Horizon
05-16-2009, 06:26 AM
First I would tell the people who said I would never get published with the type of books I write to go fuck themselves one million times (I'm such a gracious winner). Then I'd fix my car. Then I'd gloat quietly for a while. Then I'd go back to work on my books.

I'd be afraid to spend anymore of the money right away because the deal could still fall through.

benbradley
05-16-2009, 10:02 AM
I'd just keep on writing until the money ran out.

Semper Write
05-16-2009, 10:13 AM
Pay off my house, put some away for my kid's college and our retirement and then buy a brand new KTM. I'd still write.