View Full Version : Will a big endorsement help sell subsidary rights?

03-06-2005, 02:15 AM
My novel "Hogs of Cold Harbor" is about to come out. It carries a large endorsement from Norman Mailer. Trade paperback, published by Whitmore Publishing. Whitmore charged me nothing and is promoting the book on local, national and special interest levels by sending galleys or advance copies. (About 80.) My question is this: Does Whitmore have a good or poor chance of finding an agent to sell mass market and/or hardback rights to a BIG publisher, like Ballentine? Whitmore holds rights for five years. If the book sells 5000 copies, is there a good chance of selling reprint rights to a BIG New York publisher? (In short, is my Whitmore book endorsed my Norman Mailer a big deal or small potatoes? I don't have a clue.)

Daughter of Faulkner
03-06-2005, 06:33 AM
This is great news!
I am happy for you on both accounts.

What I can add is this: Many authors will not give an endorcement or write a blurb because they want the writer to stand on his own AND not be connected to anyone else book-wise. However, I believe that Mailer's words will help you, greatly. I hope you have a good story and that the book is marketed correctly so that it will have the chance to sell.
The blurb can only help if the story is great.

Are you going on a book tour?
Did you read it on tape?

Why didn't your literary agent sell to the NY houses? Are you contracted to Whitmore only?

I hope that it sells out its first printing fast and send all good wishes your way!

Daughter of Faulkner
03-06-2005, 06:35 AM
I was raised in the deep South as well!


03-06-2005, 08:03 AM
My novel "Hogs of Cold Harbor" is about to come out. It carries a large endorsement from Norman Mailer.... (In short, is my Whitmore book endorsed my Norman Mailer a big deal or small potatoes? I don't have a clue.)Richard, blurbs are there for readers. I don't think they really have much impact on publishers or subrights buyers--though I suppose you never know. But whether reprint or subrights sell depends on how successful the book is and how savvy the publisher is about seeking buyers (a good publisher will have its own rights department, or work with an established agent to sell rights). Good reviews in Publishers Weekly and the like would also help.

- Victoria

03-06-2005, 08:16 AM
yeah, i don't have any professional experience or anything, but as a reader, I have bought things in the past after seeing an author who I respect's blurb on the book.

03-07-2005, 05:10 PM
I'm not an expert on agents or rights, but the rights postings on Publishers Marketplace don't seem to have blurbs -- I don't recall ever seeing any.

What about foreign rights agents? Are they looking for a number of books sold? Or are they convinced by something else?

03-20-2005, 07:29 AM
Problem: the galley of my historically accurate Civil War novel (based on actual diary) was read and endorsed by Norman Mailer. It's a wonderful endorsement, a full paragraph long, with phrases like 'I loved reading 'The Hogs of Cold Harbor'. My publisher is Whitmore, who put the endorsement on both covers and is heavily promoting the book by sending early copies to national, local and special interest (Civil War) media. However, Whitmore does not offer returnable books, so I'm not expecting to see it in real bookstores. They are also asking $29 for a 341 page, quality trade paperback.
It seems that an endorsement by Mr. Mailer should get my book into the brick & mortar stores, at least. Should I look for an agent to deal with Whitmore for mass market and/or hardback rights? Or should I contact publishers with this info, in hopes a large one will purchase MM or HB rights in order to sell a high number of books? I really need some advice. I think I got stung - though I certainly appreciate Whitmore's promotion. Any pro advice from agents or publishers?

(book ad at http://www.whitmorebooks.com/hoofcohaciwa.html (http://www.whitmorebooks.com/hoofcohaciwa.html)
Richard Lee Fulgham
ISBN: 0874260582
ISBN: 1570720886 //www.whitmorebooks.com/hoofcohaciwa.html

03-20-2005, 12:22 PM
I'm neither a publisher or agent, but I can tell you that no one's endorsement will get you into the bookstore by itself. They want bottom lines and sales and being non-returnable pretty much screws you outta that because it means they have to take a gamble. The people who make that decision won't get as far as knowing who endorsed it, they look at "non-retunable" on their computer screen and move to the next. As to selling rights to someone else or having an agent renegotiate, I don't know about that. It seems to me that once you sign the contract its a done deal, another publisher would have to buy your contract out which they won't do unless the book is selling like crazy and that would be hard to accomplish without being in the stores. Kinda a catch 22...I wish I could give you some advice but in your position, I might consult an attorney and break my contract with the publisher unless they agreed to take returns.

03-29-2005, 07:11 AM
Nothing to report. Never mind.

03-29-2005, 07:31 AM
If they're not discounting it for bookstores, and they're not putting it on Amazon, how do they expect to sell it?

My commiserations,

03-29-2005, 07:59 AM
It's not available through Amazon? What publisher would do that, and why?

03-29-2005, 08:12 AM
*hangs head* Its published by Whitmore. A 341 page paperback for $29. Sounds like a helluva good book though, tough that he's saddled with this company.