Turning Down a Cool Mil Works Out Great for ‘The Gargoyle’

We've heard that Gerry Howard of Doubleday has won the auction for Andrew Davidson's The Gargoyle, and that agent Eric Simonoff totally made the right move in turning down a $1 million preempt offer yesterday. Multiple bidders were in the auction at seven-figure levels, and we've heard that Howard — who, we've been told, was the editor who made the million-dollar offer in the first place — wound up paying around $1.25 million for the book.

Now, that's a lot of money for a first novel, obviously, and it's even more impressive when you consider the deal is only for U.S. rights. Ordinarily publishers who pay out mega-advances like this have a chance to make back a chunk of change quickly by selling rights to foreign publishers, but Doubleday doesn't have that opportunity; instead, Simonoff tells us he's busy managing foreign submissions as well, with the book already preempted in Italy and with another substantial offer on the table in the U.K. And all that money goes in Andrew Davidson's pocket, not Doubleday's.

Earlier: Agent Turns Down $1 Million Offer for First Novel