Okay, so Saturday at the con I had an editor appointment with Anna, and I went to talk to her and I said, “Honestly, I’ve got nothing to pitch right now. I’d been hoping to be able to talk to you about the book you’d just bought from me, and it was about Wednesday that I went, “Hell, I haven’t got anything new to pitch!”” Which was fine with her. So we just talked some — some about HEART OF STONE, in fact, and actually that was very useful to me — and she said she thought she’d gone and dug URBAN SHAMAN out of PNH’s slushpile to read it. It wasn’t appropriate for the paranormal romance line, which, yeah, I knew, and anyway, she didn’t tell me what had happened to it /after/ she dug it out of his slushpile, so I emailed her a couple days ago to ask.
It seems to have gotten lost.
Well, so I sent her an email copy of it and posted another copy, ’cause, well, this kind of thing happens. It’s a bother, but eh. What can I do, really? There’s no point in being upset, ’cause at least I found out about it and am able to rectify it.
Anyway, I sent a synopsis for HoS to Avon romance, and they asked for the first 3 chapters, so I got to send ’em that with a ‘requested materials enclosed’ written on it, and that’s always nice. Also sent US to Luna. So. Doo dee doo. That’s what’s that.
Anna told me during our talk that she thought I needed to work on my character development. Actually *laugh* she said, “I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but you need to tell more.” And I laughed and said, “Someday I’m going to quote you on that, and make you cringe.” She said, “I’m already cringing!” Anyway, so, ok, that’s something I should look at. She *also* said, “You’re going to get published, whether it’s by me or not, you’re going to get published.”
So I said, “Yes, you’re right, I am. I’d love it to be Tor, because Tor’s a great house, but even if it’s not, I /am/ going to get published.” So, y’know, at least we were in agreement on that. :)
I asked — this was Friday night (see, there’s some hope I might get the rest of the con written up!) — about advances, during some or other part of the talk. See, the thing about advances is that there is no baseline available for SF/F writers. The only, *only* place I’ve seen on the net that even mentions a first advance is Holly Lisle’s site, where she said she got something like $5K for her first novel. Now, I appreciate not wanting to air your finances, but *man*. How’s a first time author supposed to know if they’re getting screwed or if they’re getting a great offer if there’s simply no information available? It makes me crazy.
So. I asked, since we were doing a Q&A. And there was hemming and hawing and some talking around the subject, and I thought she wasn’t going to answer, which made me crabby, but then she did. A ballpark figure for a first advance — and I accept that this is 1. a ballpark figure, and 2. possibly more specific to Tor than other houses — is between $5 and $10 grand, to a first-time SF/F author with no impressive cover quotes. (Someone on her paranormal romance line apparently has a Laurell K. Hamilton cover quote guarantee; that person got a larger advance, f’rex.)
I think this is an *insanely* useful piece of information. I’m *so* glad she answered it!
Ok, well, while I’m at it, some more Friday night stuff. The rest of Anna’s talk is a blur, really, and my next real memory is about eight of us sitting around talking to Mistress Aries about what a real dominatrix does for a living, and she told some really truly wonderful stories. This discussion was interrupted by the Tinfoil Hat Creativity Contest, which was brought on by… I think Sarah said something about preventing the aliens from reading our minds, and then Terey went and got tinfoil, and then Marci walked in and Terey said to her, “How many pieces of tinfoil do you want?” and then there was no turning back. I’ll get pictures up pretty soon, I promise. :)
*giggle* After about ten minutes we’d all forgotten we were wearing tinfoil hats, so the rest of the evening people kept coming out to do one thing or another, and they’d each stop and stare at us with wonderment and fear. *giggle* It was really funny. :)
We petered out around 11pm, I think, and staggered back to the hotel, where we raided Liz’s hotel room because she had Sarah’s stuff in her car still, and stood around and talked for half an hour before finally going back and falling down asleep, tud!