Monday, May 10, 2010

A bigger deal is getting away - by Terry Burns

Just had an interesting discussion with a client who was concerned about taking an offer, concerned that a bigger one might be getting away. I said, let me set your mind at ease, a bigger one IS getting away.

A bigger one is always getting away. When we're looking to buy a car and we get the best deal we can find, are we letting a better deal get away? Probably. How about a house, a TV set, no matter what we are buying or selling we have to do the best we can do because there is probably always that elusive deal that we just don't know about.

With book deals it can be that we aren't there at the right time, there isn't a catalog slot open but maybe later there will be. We're ahead of or right behind the curve. They just did one like it and we missed it, or maybe some time later they will be able to do another one. The market is not right for it, but maybe later will be.

Unless we are signing that big, bestseller-bound deal, there is always the possibility that we are letting a bigger opportunity get away by taking an offer. Life is just like that. We have to let the bird-in-the-
hand get away to take a shot at something else. Is it worth it?

That depends. Does the gamble pay off? We do pass on the smaller offer and do land the big one then it is. We pass on it and end up with no deal, then it wasn't. Like Clint Eastwood said when he stuck that big pistol of his in a guys face, cocked it, and said "Do you feel lucky?"

It's the author's call and I've had them win and I've had them lose. Sure, I make sure they know what they are giving up and what they might get. I try to make sure they understand all the variables, but I sure don't tell them what to do.

After all, when it comes right down to it, Clint is right, "Do You Feel Lucky?"

Just thought I'd share that with you.



Anonymous said...

This makes me think of Jack Canfield and Mark Hansen going with a small start-up publisher, Health Communications.

All the bigger publishers passed on them because they seemed to be a small deal. But, as history has shown us, "things are not always as they appear!"

Small things often grow into large things. Just look at the mustard seed!

writer jim said...


I'm certain you agree: We should willingly let the BIG ONE get away...IF neccessary to OBEY God.

Betty Malz wrote popular Christian books including MY GLIMPSE OF ETERNITY. She was in big demand to speak at churches, appear on TV, etc.

Betty had a terribly painful neck problem for a long time, from which she could find no relief. When appearing on TV she would request a swivel chair so she could swivel and not have to turn her neck.

One week she was asked to appear at a BIG church; but a tiny church out in the middle of nowhere also asked her to come. She prayed, and God told her she MUST go to the tiny church.

Betty wanted to go to the BIG church. Yet she obeyed God instead.
She was picked up at the airport in a rugged vehicle and they began the long drive to the remote church. The roads became bumpy, and Betty's neck hurt. Bump, bump, bump....hurt, hurt, hurt. She thought, "I could have gone to the BIG church, and recieved a BIG love offering. I'm sure this tiny remote church will give me almost nothing. And my neck is killing me! Oh, God! my neck has hurt so bad for so long...will you ever help me?"

Finally, they arrived at the little church with only a few folks attending. Betty sat down, and in a minute...surprising to everyone, a most humble person reached from behind and touched Betty's neck simply to say HI to her. THAT WAS IT! God totally healed Betty's neck!

Betty would have gone anywhere in the world to get help for her neck.
When she let the BIG $$$ GET AWAY in order to obey God she recieved something more important to her than a million $.

I told that happening the best I remember it.
Betty is special to me because 25 years ago she told me I should write a book...and God did a confirming supernatural sign regarding her words.

Terry Burns said...

What a great example, Jim, thanks

Caroline said...

I'm so glad you wrote this post! Thanks.

Jeanette Levellie said...

Too bad all the spinsters who waited for the perfect husband didn't know you, Terry.

john said...

"I said, let me set your mind at ease, a bigger one IS getting away."

It has always amazed me to watch and observe people's attitudes. To me it comes down to coveting. Coveting that which we don't have but so desperately want leads us to be extremely unhappy and dissatisfied in our lives.

Some one once told me the definition of a "good deal" is when both sides think they screwed the other side just a little bit. I reject that definition out of hand because to me it means that I have coveted something other had so badly I was willing to take advantage of them to take what they wanted by unfair means.

My definition of a "good deal" is when both sides are satisfied that they have both received a profitable and fair compensation for what they have offered.

Do you see the difference? Maybe it's subtle, but to me it's as subtle as a 2X4 across the forehead. In the first definition, greed and covetous rule the motivation of both parties, in the second, a fair exchange between parties is the goal.

Interesting post, Terry, and one we should all think about whether we're dealing with agents and publishers or used car dealers.

It was also a pleasure to meet you at OWFI last weekend, despite your claim of multiple personae, I think you're a very straightforward and open person.

John Stricker

writer jim said...

John Stricker,

Yes, sir.

Normandie Fischer said...

As always, Terry, pithy comments that get to the heart of the matter.

I also appreciate all your responders. Good notes from all. And the story writer Jim posted was perfect. How often I've seen that: obedience always brings a reward, even if not so great a one as Betty received.