May 4, 2012
Recently I received my latest royalty statement from my publisher, and I was very excited to learn that my first novel, Ash, has earned out1 its advance. This is exciting not only because now I will get royalty checks for future book sales of Ash, but because … MY LESBIAN CINDERELLA STORY HAS EARNED OUT.2
Authors don’t often announce when their books earn out. Some authors probably fully expect that to happen and it doesn’t seem like a big deal to them. Others probably never expect the book to earn out at all, so there’s nothing to state. But in a world in which it can often feel like anything about LGBT characters has a snowball’s chance in hell of being successful,3 I feel like this is something to celebrate. Cheesy as this may sound, now Cinderella really does get to live happily ever after.
There are many people who made this possible. My agent, Laura Langlie, who saw the potential in Ash from the beginning. My editor, Kate Sullivan, who jumped at the chance to acquire Ash and convinced everyone at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers that a lesbian Cinderella wasn’t a crazy idea. And Little, Brown itself, who designed and produced and promoted a beautiful book that made readers want to pick it up.
But it’s the readers — that’s YOU — who ultimately control whether a book succeeds or fails. The fact that Ash has earned out is due to YOU. Every reader who bought my book in hardcover or paperback or ebook; every reader who checked it out of their library or asked their library to buy it; every librarian who bought the book for their collection or recommended it to a patron; everybody who told someone else that Ash was something they might like.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It’s because of you and your support that my novel has found its place in the world. I hope it will stay there for a long time to come.
- “Earning out” means the publisher has earned back the advance they paid me before the book was published. More info here. [↩]
- According to Tobias Buckell’s 2005 (admittedly a little old) stats on first novel advances, Ash received an advance above the top of the range for first novels. Even though it took almost 2.5 years for the advance to earn out, because of the amount of the advance, I count it as a victory. [↩]
- I’m also lucky that Ash has been published abroad in the U.K., Italy, Germany and most recently Turkey. I’ve been told that Ash and my other books have no chance of getting into many, many overseas markets because they would never accept novels about lesbians. So thank you also to the publishers overseas who have a progressive and inclusive vision for their lists. [↩]