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Wizera
06-06-2016, 07:46 PM
I am so, so sorry if this is already a thread somewhere. I fished around for it a bit, but my Google-Fu failed me.

I'm just wondering if I can get some insight into how auctions work, when one or more publisher is interested in your work. What does a "bid" include? Has anyone gone through this process, either with or without an agent? Do you have any advice?

Thedrellum
06-06-2016, 08:22 PM
Wizera, this query might be more effective in Ask the Agent or one of the publishing threads (though, since I'm not a mod, I can't move it there for you).

From what I understand, if you have an agent, they'll handle all the details and advise you on what's the best offer (taking into account advance, royalty, distribution, marketing push, etc.). On your own, you'd want to take the same things into account--but you might be (as I would be) hampered by not knowing the ins and outs of publishing.

My advice would be to research all the publishers carefully, see which ones are doing the best with books like yours, and then tally up the pros and cons of each (based on the criteria above). I'm sure there are a lot of people here on AW who have experience and might be willing to help--trawl through the other threads re: publishing and you may be able to find them (assuming this thread doesn't pull them in).

Also, if you have offers without an agent, you might be able to get an agent, though that depends on who the publishers are.

Old Hack
06-06-2016, 08:41 PM
This would be better-suited to Ask the Agent, I think, so I'm going to move it over. Hold on...

ETA: and here we are!

Old Hack
06-06-2016, 08:51 PM
I'm just wondering if I can get some insight into how auctions work, when one or more publisher is interested in your work. What does a "bid" include?

In my experience, when a book goes to auction the representing agent sends it out to a select group of editors and lets them know there's going to be an auction. Sometimes a book is sent out and there's so much initial interest that the agent will then announce they're going to auction instead of letting publishers make offers as and when they want.

The agent will let the editors know when the bids have to be in by, and will let all the editors know what the bid will have to include. Sometimes that's just a high advance, other times the agent will ask for a marketing plan and an indication of the marketing budget for the book, or for other things.

The bid contains the amount of advance which will be paid, and information about royalties and escalator clauses (which increase royalties as sales increase), marketing budget and plan, and so on. It'll also include information about the rights they want, the sales they expect to make, and so on. It can include mock-ups of the book's cover, it could be delivered in a special gift package full of items related to the book, or with a hamper or a bouquet or a case of wine. The proposed editor might write something about her vision for the book, or about her connection to the book. The publisher might include all sorts. The contract terms--advance, royalties, marketing commitment, rights required, and so on--are far more important than the gift items. But those gift items do demonstrate a commitment to the book, and they show how the publisher is thinking of publishign the book, so they are not to be sneezed at.


Has anyone gone through this process, either with or without an agent? Do you have any advice?

My advice? Don't try to run an auction for your own book. You need an agent to do it properly.

Cyia
06-06-2016, 09:04 PM
The only advice to give is patience.

When your book's ready to go on submission, then your agent will send it to a list of potential editors. (You can ask for the list, if you're curious about where it's going.)

One of those editors might love your book enough to "preempt" it, meaning they make an offer that they think would win an auction, without the auction taking place. They'll give a set amount of money, for a set amount of books, and maybe some preliminary marketing and positioning ideas.

You can take the offer or leave it, but it's usually a DECIDE RIGHT NOW!!! kind of thing.

If you've got two or more editors interested, then you get an auction. All of the editors are told a day, and then they and your agent exchange emails and phone calls with competing offers. One might offer more money, but another might offer better positioning. There are a ton of variables.

Once the auction's netted its best offers, then you and your agent will talk through the pros and cons and decide which one to take. Maybe it's the higher money amount, maybe it's not. Maybe it's the publisher that wants to rush your book through and get it out in 10 months because the genre's jumping hot.

Whatever's important to you, your agent and your career.

Wizera
06-06-2016, 09:21 PM
This would be better-suited to Ask the Agent, I think, so I'm going to move it over. Hold on...

ETA: and here we are!

Apologies for putting it in the wrong place!

heza
06-07-2016, 12:18 AM
...it could be delivered in a special gift package full of items related to the book, or with a hamper or a bouquet or a case of wine.

Who gets the goodies? The author or the agent?

(You wrote "hamper" but I saw "laundry basket." Lol. I'm definitely not going with whichever publisher wants me to wash their towels.)

WeaselFire
06-07-2016, 01:04 AM
Who gets the goodies? The author or the agent?

Yes. :)

Seriously, the package can have a lot of incentives and every agent I know that has taken a book to auction has shared the gift basket or given it to the author. Flowers are hard to send out to an author, tickets to the local sports team don't help when you're 1,500 miles away and wine often gets opened when you/your agent sign the deal. But marketing plans, mock-ups and so on are certainly shared with the author as part of the decision making.

Keep in mind, auctions are actually pretty rare for most authors and agents. Some genres don't lend themselves to it and many books don't generate enough interest. And, many times, auctions don't work out well for authors. You write a book, it goes to auction, the bid runs a million bucks, you and your agent grab the deal and the book sells reasonably well but is not a blockbuster. No agent or publisher buys your work again, you can't deliver the goods. Think Amanda Hocking. St. Martin's is doing okay with her, but she hasn't lived up to the hype and money invested. At least her work is still in demand, a lot of authors end up as one hit wonders.

Jeff

Wizera
06-08-2016, 10:14 PM
Thanks, guys. My auction goes this Thursday. Wish me luck!

heza
06-08-2016, 10:27 PM
Good luck!

ClockPrince
06-09-2016, 10:40 AM
Thanks, guys. My auction goes this Thursday. Wish me luck!

Best of luck, Wizera! :)

Jennifer_Laughran
06-13-2016, 05:25 PM
I've never gotten a hamper of goodies :cry:

Wizera
06-14-2016, 01:53 AM
Well, the auction ended. No hamper of goodies, but now I have the impossible task of choosing between three amazing offers.

Siri Kirpal
06-14-2016, 05:54 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Congratulations! May you choose well!

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Cyia
06-14-2016, 05:59 AM
Well, the auction ended. No hamper of goodies, but now I have the impossible task of choosing between three amazing offers.

If you're going to have a problem, that's the one to choose!

Congrats!

hester
06-14-2016, 05:59 PM
Congrats Wizera!!! :banana:

Thedrellum
06-14-2016, 06:33 PM
Congratulations! :hooray:

ClockPrince
06-14-2016, 10:21 PM
Well, the auction ended. No hamper of goodies, but now I have the impossible task of choosing between three amazing offers.


That's awesome, Wizera! I'm sure you'll end up choosing the right one for you! Good luck! ;)

Carrie in PA
06-14-2016, 10:42 PM
Well, the auction ended. No hamper of goodies, but now I have the impossible task of choosing between three amazing offers.

:hooray: YAY!!!!

DeannaR
06-15-2016, 09:51 PM
Congratulations! That is a problem to have alright ;) I am sure at that point there really is no "wrong" choice.

Quickbread
06-16-2016, 01:05 AM
Congrats on having such a fantastic dilemma, Wizera! :D