For aspiring authors, the topic of book advances is murky and mysterious. We read about the massive payouts to a very, very select few others. But no articles are written about the vast majority of $20k and $30k and even lower advances that are dished out to the vast majority of writers.
On the other end of the publishing lifecycle, aspiring authors also frequently wonder about royalties.
Luckily for folks looking to learn about publishing money, two recent articles have appeared that I thought were very informative. Last Friday, the New York Times posted “About that Book Advance” by Michael Meyer. I was surprised to learn that, in some cases, publishers are stringing out paying advances to a shocking degree. I was accustomed to payouts in halves or even thirds. That’s been the norm for a while now. But meyer quotes literary agent Eric Simonoff as saying, “Now we see advance amounts being paid in thirds, fourths and even fifths. For a writer dependent on those funds, that’s not an advance, it’s a retreat.”
Good info in both articles so be sure to check them out.