I seem to recall a radio interview with Hootie and the Blowfish years ago. The boys talked about hitting the big time and all the usual stuff. But the one thing that stuck in my mind was how they claimed to have declined a massive advance in favor of a more modest one. Although a risky move, they argued that it paid off in the long run because they weren’t in debt to the
company store record company for years and years. They claimed to make more money, quicker, than if they had taken the huge advance and dug a financial hole for themselves. Or, hell, maybe that interview was about chicks and briefcases full of cash and I just mis-remembered it.
The reason I mention this now, and God forgive me for even uttering the Hootie name on this website, is that Gawker seems to agree with the technique of avoiding advances.
In a regular feature entitled Unsolicited, an anonymous editor provides Gawker-readers insights into the publishing industry. And in a recent post entitled Why You Don’t Want a Big Advance, the editor explains that “accepting a six figure deal is one of the biggest career mistakes a first time author can make.”
The editor makes a number of valid points. I can’t really argue with anything he/she says. But in a classic case of do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do, and since so many big-time, powerful publishing folks read this blog, let me just make this clear. My personal opinion on a six figure advance? Yeah, hand it over. I’ll take my chances. Where do I sign?
Darius Rucker was able to do those Burger King commercials for financial back-up. Me, I’m just lucky to avoid working the fryer at BK so I’ll be more than happy to cash that big advance check.