Just in case you don't read the comments here on Posting with Purpose, I want to highlight what Miralee Ferrell said.
I struggled on my first book with a relatively low advance, based on what the industry often pays (according to my agent). But she very wisely counseled that it's better to take a lower advance, than one that's so high you can't earn out. I'm blessed that my first book is now in second print, and it has earned out it's advance. If I'd pushed for a lot higher advance, I'd have been losing sleep worrying they wouldn't want book 2, if book 1 didn't earn the advance. So there's something to be said for a low advance. If your book doesn't do super well, it's not such a huge deal. If it's does awesome, you'll have royalty checks coming in.
And that is exactly the point I wanted to make with this post. I'm not trying to get a book published to see my name in print. Instead, I desire a long, fruitful career of writing until I get so old I can't use my arthritic, feeble hands to peck out one more manuscript. And by fruitful, I mean not only making a helpful amount of money, but effecting the readers in a positive way concerning my Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Wednesday, October 29th
So I make a decision: I ask my agent to counter with a lower number than she thinks fair. Career planning is key in this. I figure my break-even point to be around 5,000 books--which was wrong, but you'll have to stay tuned to see how I know that!--and though part of me wonders who could possibly want to buy a book by no-name Christina Berry, the number is within the possible range of a first time author.
Will Publisher B except the counter offer? Will Publisher A's offer finally arrive? Oooo, the suspense is killing you!