What does it mean when your book goes to auction?

I've been doing some digging around online about what exactly happens in between "I signed with a literary agent" and "we've sold the book to a publisher."

One of the articles that i've come across in my mad Googling was this one: http://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=6767

...which defined a lot of nuanced terms for me. I mean, i've heard people talk about their book going to auction, or getting a pre-empt, but this seems to have a pretty good breakdown of what all that means.

Does anyone have personal experience with auctions or pre-empts? I would love to hear from fellow SheWriters about your experiences being out on submission!

  • Hi Rachel. My book had something a little different: and editor at Putnam contacted me based on an article I'd written in the New York Times online and asked me to submit a memoir proposal, and then she made an offer. I totally lucked out, but it does happen. I'll be writing about this soon, in fact, for She Writes in a series of blog posts counting down to the publication of my book in June, but for now, you can get more info if you want on how it happened for me here: http://thegoodshufu.wordpress.com/. Wishing you the very best of luck with your book!

  • If your book goes to auction, various publishers are vying for it. That means you've found an excellent agent. I have no first-hand experience with this, but maybe someday.