If you’ve got a meeting with someone, they want to work with you. Or at least they want to want to work with you. Make the most of that meeting, get what you can and remember that the ideal is that you will be working with these people so let’s leave everyone happy. And at some point money is going to come into it but money is not all.
It’s a lot. Let’s not be daft.
Have more items than they have. Let’s say you are negotiating a book advance. They offer a $10,000 advance and they can’t budge higher.
That’s fine. Now make your list of other things: how much social media marketing will they do, what bookstores will they get you into, who has control over book design, what percentage of foreign rights, of digital rights, you can get. Do royalties go up after a certain number of copies are sold, will they pay for better book placement in key stores, will they hire a publicist? And so on.
Before every negotiation. Make a list. Make the list as long as possible. If your list is bigger than theirs (size matters) then you can give up “the nickels for the dimes”.
This is not just about negotiation. This is to make sure that later you are not disappointed because there is something you forgot. Always prepare. Then you can have faith that because you prepared well, the outcome will also go well.