| Can you
briefly comment on your negotiating style and philosophy? How
assertive are you? Would you describe yourself as hard-nosed
or laid-back? Would you comment on your ideas about advances?
Every negotiation has its own unique characteristics. It is impossible to generalize my approach without knowing the specifics of a given situation. I am a tenacious, persistent authors' advocate. However, publishing is a collaborative industry so I will negotiate the best terms possible for a project without creating an antagonistic, untenable working situation between agent and editor. First-time writers have very little leverage in structuring their first advance. As an agent, I believe that authors should be positioned so they can reap tangible rewards after their first book is successful. Although there is some correlation between the size of the advance and the amount of marketing support a publisher will give a book, it is much more important for a first-time author to concentrate on doing everything he or she can to make the book successful.
I approach every negotiation fully prepared. Among the many elements involved in my preparation for a negotiation are performing my own market analysis, calculating a profit and loss statement for a project, examining the publisher's current list, and looking for future market indicators. I believe that preparation is the foundation for all successful negotiations.