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Sep 15, 2010

Advances in Romance - How Much Money Do Authors Make?

An interesting list of advances for various imprints in the Romance genre.

The first three publishers already give you an idea of the range:

Asylett (4 titles)
Average advance: $0
Standard royalty percentage: 40% of net (digital)
Average earn-out: $100 Median: $70

Avalon (20 titles)
Average advance: $1030 Median: $1000
Advance range: $1000 - $1200
Standard royalty percentage: 10%
Average earn-out: $1250 Median: $1000 Range: $1000 - $2400

Avon/HarperCollins (53 titles)
Average advance (first book): $19,700 Median: $8000
Average advance (subsequent books): $28,000 Median: $15,000
Advance range: $5000 - $100,000
Standard royalty percentage: 8%
Average earn-out: $23,000 Median: $26,500 Range: $12,000 - $35,000


Alan said...
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Michelle D. Argyle said...

It's kind of depressing, isn't it? How much money you're NOT going to make...I think when we see all the big-hit authors making a LOT of money we get it in our head that we will, too. We CAN, but it's unlikely. I think romance authors can certainly live off their writing, but not with just a few books. It would take many.

So what are your thoughts on this? I love that you're sharing all this information in your posts. :)

C. N. Nevets said...

These are the kind of posts that are extremely helpful, Tara.

But also the kind I can't let myself read or else I'll just get too discouraged and throw up my hands.

There's some kind of balance each of us needs to find between a realistic assessment of the field and falling prey to discouragement. I think it's different for everyone, and I think everyone will have a different hot button topic, too.

I'm okay as long as I just think about how hard it is to get an agent, how hard it is to get a publisher, and those sorts of challenges because those feel like things I can work at. If I think about facts and figures on numbers, that feels more out of my control and that gets me down.

Still, information is power and I know posts like this will arm a lot of writers with what they need to know setting out.

Tara Maya said...

Michelle, it also reminds me that there's not as big a difference between self-publishing, publishing through a digital-only press and traditional publishing, as some people make out, at least not if you are at the bottom of the feeding chain.

Nevets, I know what you mean. If it gets you down, I suggest you read this as an anecdote:

... in particular, the advice, "never think about selling while you're writing."