The Dollars and Cents of Writing II

Author SL Viehl shares the royalty statement on her latest paperback.  The book is doing well and she has every reason to be thrilled and proud.  But if you’re an aspiring writer, the numbers will be an important reality check for you about the kind earnings/sales a successful (as opposed to bestselling) author can expect. You should also check out the nitty-gritty of novelist Alison Kent’s recent royalty statement and author Ian Irvine’s excellent article on how publishing works. The chart below, which I posted back in February,  is from his article:

Table 1: What you get in your hand after agents’ cuts, per book


Pre-tax Price Your share ($A) Pre-taxp Price Your share ($A) Pre-tax Price Your share ($A)
Australia $A40.50 $3.44 $A27.33 2.32 $A18.13 1.54
Britain £17.99 3.21 £12.99 2.32 £7.99* 1.07
USA $US25.95 2.52 US14.95 1.45 $US7.99# 0.62

* Exch. Rate 0.38, royalty 7.5% to 20K, Aust publisher 20%, Aust agent 15%

# Exch. Rate 0.70, royalty 8% to 100K, Aust publisher 20%, Aust agent 15%

** Trade paperback and hardcover royalties 10%


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