Sometimes there’s confusion about how book royalties work. Thought I’d clear up this mystery for you.
Generally in Christian publishing, the author earns a percentage of the NET price of every book sold. That is, the price at which the publisher sold the book to the bookstore. (Many ABA publishers pay a percentage of the cover price of the book.)
Here’s a hypothetical example:
Cover price: $13.99
Net price: $6.30 (sold to bookstore at standard 55% discount)
Royalty rate: This is set in your publishing contract and can vary from about 12% to 20%. It goes up with the number of copies you sell. Let’s say your starting royalty rate is 16%.
16% of net = 16% of $6.30 = $1.01
You make $1.01 on every book sold.
Let’s say your advance was $5,000. You need to earn $5,000 in royalties before you start seeing any royalty checks.
How many copies do you have to sell to earn back your $5,000 advance?
4,951 copies. ($1.01 x 4,951 = $5,000)
After you sell 4,951 copies, you will begin to see royalty checks. $1.01 for every book sold. Some publishers pay quarterly; others pay annually.
While it’s great to get as much money as possible up front, it’s also nice to start getting royalty checks in the mail!
You can get an idea of how many copies your publisher expects to sell by what kind of advance they offer. They hope to sell many more, of course, but they offer an advance based on what they can reasonably predict.[ Next Post → ] [ ← Previous Post ]