Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Snowman in Publishing Hell

Bob Eckstein wrote a book called The History of the Snowman. He got a $35,000 advance and spent $15,000 in research. The book went through five editors, and the cover design went through 35 revisions. Then Eckstein was sent out on a seven-state promotional tour, during which he sold 41 books.

And you thought your life sucked.

Speaking of books, don't forget the 2008 Holiday Book Sale.


  1. Hey, I wish someone would think of my writing enough to gave me a $35,000 advance. For one thing, it would be about snowmen. Two, I think I could sell more than 41 copies.

  2. I meant to say give me an advance and it would NOT be about snowmen. So much for my writing. Where are my damn glasses...

  3. Ooh ooh, I wanna be a writer!!!!

    Such a glamorous profession.

  4. Hi Robert,

    Much of my complaining has been for comic effect (although all the mishaps were true) but I truly feel fortunate to be published.

    With books it requires tremendous numbers to make a profit so it’s best I enjoy the other perks, the new relationships, the funny stories, the free swag…

    The book is actually doing well...due to it's publicity. I was featured in People, Smithsonian, Martha Stewart, NPR and will be on Good Morning America Christmas morning. Not sure how much that translates moneywise, but the writing in it earned me the respect of others and I was asked to wrote an editorial for the NY Post (past Sunday) and an Op-Ed for the Daily News this coming Sunday and a large piece for the NY Times sports the same day (I consider it the trifeca to do a editorial consecutively in all three NYC papers so that's a cool perk).

    To respond to Right Guy, choosing the snowman as a subject was like finding the winning lottery ticket. It's past is fascinating and the dark skeletons in it's closet never shown the light of day (it was an early form of pornography, an early form of political commentary, was involved in the Massacre of 1690). Anyone could have written a bestseller from this subject and I was just lucky enough to find it first.

    Have a happy holidays…and thanks for the mention.
    Bob Eckstein (the guy who wrote the above snowman book)