AAA President Lizzy Kremer wrote for Publishers’ Weekly on author advances:
“Publishing is our business and the economics of it demand our serious attention. And yet, despite the seriousness of our work, we find joy in running the risks of our unpredictable industry. Agents and publishers take pleasure in being excellent at this game of strategy and skill; in being alert to the opportunities that come from talent, from luck and from great timing. Every huge advance paid for a non-brand name author signifies that some of our fellow players have played well and won big, and that at least one publisher is willing to gamble on success with very high stakes.
And the sweetness for all of us in the seven-figure Frankfurt book deal is that it acts as the proof that – despite excruciating pressures on retail and variable results for debut fiction in particular – publishers still believe that they know how to make and find success for authors and for themselves. Without publishers’ belief in their own ability to actively build and predict bestselling success, where would any talented author be? I welcome every big bet a publisher places on a new book as a rallying cry: books are our cultural lifeblood, books can make money, authors deserve generous rewards. Let’s share the best books and drive their success together!
But paired with the sweetness of the handful of buzzed about Frankfurt acquisitions is our knowledge that these deals are part of a larger game…”
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