I got my first advance from Penguin Canada this week via my Canadian agent. A cheque with a statement of account for the trust funds. I think that was the moment when the penny dropped. (Even more so than finding out Penguin had an ISBN for The Beggar’s Opera.)
I realized that I am an author.
My books may not be on bookstands yet but a major publisher has paid for the rights to publish and distribute them. I didn’t have to pay them. Holy crap, they paid me.
I get to keep this money, even if the advance is higher than book sales (fingers crossed, of course, that that doesn’t happen). It’s an advance against royalties, which means that I won’t make any more money than the amount paid out as advances unless the book outsells those amounts.
There will be a couple more cheques for advances after this one. The next one comes after Penguin accepts the revised manuscript for The Beggar’s Opera and and then the final advance when the book is published.
Not sure how those will be handled, since there are two books in the queue (this advance was for both of them): it may mean that I’ll be waiting until 2013 for the others for The King’s Indian, which is the sequel and still has a ways to go in terms of revisions.
If the advance was a little smaller, I think I’d keep it instead of cashing it and have it framed. Instead, I think I’ll make a nice little photocopy of it. Someday, I may frame my agent’s account and hang that up somewhere.
I feel a bit like the person who faithfully kept submitting the same numbers to the lottery gods and finally wins. A debut novel that finds a publisher is as much the triumph of hope over experience as any second marriage, or any crap shoot. I’m thrilled to bits that this time, despite the odds, hope won.
My first advance. ♥ Sigh.