Saturday, July 26, 2008
I've just finished putting this month's royalty statement numbers into my spreadsheet. As predicted after last month's figures, another book has gone over 1500 copies sold. I've received almost exactly $4000 in royalties on that title since it was released in April last year. The bulk of the sales came from the publisher's own website, but the book was also released through Fictionwise and All Romance Ebooks some months after its initial release, and both sites have shifted some units.
This is why I have a day job.
On the other hand, that's rather more than the price of a round of beers. It's a lot less money than I'd get if I'd been steadily selling books to Tor over the last four years, but it's a lot more money than I'd get at some publishers. Even if you're writing in a genre that New York won't touch, do your homework before submitting to a publisher. Money isn't the only factor, of course, or I'd be putting more effort into writing something that I could sensibly submit to Tor (who I'm using as an example because I *would* like to submit something to them). But it's a really good idea to submit first to a publisher that has a sane contract and has a reasonable chance of both staying in business and making you more than beer money. There are no guarantees in this business, but there are elementary precautions you can take to reduce your risk of getting burned.