Money, money, money!

How much can authors earn?We all write for the love of it for the most part and if we get paid that’s simply a bonus. A very useful if not to say essential bonus. My first advance was for the grand sum of £2300. I was over the moon!I got to do what I loved AND I got paid for it!!

Over the years since my book was first published, it’s earned me around £50’000. A very very nice sum. When you lump it together like that. The reality is much more stingy and if you look at my weekly earnings from my book, it’s more accurate to say my writing has paid for the occasional cheese, the money for the bread and the butter has had to come from other sources.

Nonetheless I was still hooked on writing and my second novel gradually worked it’s way into life. This one I couldn’t sell. Not for love nor money. One agent said, too much detail, another agent said too little. Another agent said only US books, another agent said great story but wrong financial climate … and so on.

In a fit of acute masochism I read an article written by the amazing Brenda Hiatt (read the full article here Show me the money) which listed the advances an author could expect to get from the various publishing houses.

Mopping up my tears of self pity some twenty minutes later I braced myself to go through the list again (essentially rubbing salt into my wounds). But hey, at least I know who to pitch my next book at eh?

According to Brenda the advances vary hugely from house to house from the measly zilch/0/ sweet Fanny nothing all the way through to the deeply impressive $80’000 (My eyes are smarting again…) from Mira.

(Mira, my daughters best friends name – surely that’s a sign right?? I’ll email them next!) Anyway I digress. Advance payouts for first books from just a few on her list are:

  •  Kensington/Zebra – $60’000
  • St. Martin’s Press – $18,500
  • HQN – $22,700
  • Pocket – $10,400
  • Bantam/Dell – $17,000
  • Baker/Revel – $6700
  • Grand Central Publishing – $7,100
  • Ballantine – $40,000
  • Barbour & Co. – $2200
  • Berkley/Jove – $8,100
  • Dutton/Signet/NAL – $9,400

Wow. What a range. Watch this space. I’ll get a pic of me standing on the steps of the Mira Publishing house with my big fat advance cheque held tightly in my hot little hands… hehehe – yeah right. And you can shut up too Cath

For Brenda Hiatts full article do visit her website

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