STATUS: I’m feeling good because I’m actually tackling the big items on my TO DO list.
What’s playing on the iPod right now? THE CHRISTMAS SONG by The Carpenters
I can finally talk about my big day from last week or should I say my big days since the auction lasted for two days.
Here’s the announcement from Deal Lunch:
FICTION: MIDDLE GRADE
Helen Stringer’s debut HOUSE OF MISTS, about a girl who lives with the ghosts of her parents in the north of England and when they disappear, along with all the ghosts in the world, it’s up to her, an always-in-trouble classmate named Steve, and the one remaining ghost (from 1912) to find out why, to Jean Feiwel at Feiwel & Friends, in a significant deal for two books, at auction, by Kristin Nelson of Nelson Literary Agency (NA).
This is the very first middle-grade project I’ve ever taken on so I was rather heartened that it caused quite a stir and lots of interest. As an agent I probably shouldn’t admit this but because it was my first middle-grade ever, I was kind of nervous when I submitted it. I obviously feel quite confident about my YA abilities but middle-grade is a whole other ball of wax so to speak. Now I can rest easy. At least in this case, I got what it takes!
So here’s how the auction went down.
1. Project was sent out on Wednesday. The first offer came a week and a day later.
2. All editors were notified of the offer on the table.
3. Several editors expressed serious interest, which signals that an auction might be imminent.
4. Another house makes an offer (but not a pre-empt), so now there are two offers on the table. Auction date is scheduled and that information is sent to all editors interested in participating.
5. A house with an offer already on the table attempts to pre-empt with a new offer. The Interest at this point is too high, the pre-empt is declined.
6. Agent sets auction rules and asks all interested parties to declare if they plan to attend or not. The rules are emailed to all auction participants.
7. Auction day comes and it’s a round robin one (which means participants can bid in subsequent rounds). Four participants are bidding. Auction continues until there is a winner but in this case, it came down two main bidders. As the auction continued on Friday, the publishers were asked if they wanted the option to put their best offer forward instead of doing subsequent round robin bidding that might last several more hours. Participants preferred that. Final offers were presented to the author and ultimately a final choice was made.
There can only be one publisher after all. Although I have to say, when all parties are excellent, it’s tough to call the “losing” publisher and potentially break that editor’s heart when he/she obviously has tons of enthusiasm for the project.