Monday, December 04, 2006

Illumination from a Darkened Glass

"Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print."
--George Orwell

Josh of Through A Glass, Darkly--a blog that has one of the loveliest header images I've come across, and frankly, makes me covet and want to pilfer it for use on one of MY blogs that needs remodeling--has a couple of good writer-oriented posts this week.

The Orwell quote is found in his Sunday post WHAT TO NEVER WRITE, a blog entry title which would have been grammatically incorrect in earlier days of stick-up-academic-buttdom, when some professor would have said, "what never to write" was the correct version.(It's officially okay now to split an infinitive if the meaning remains clear, as in "to boldly go".)

Today's post is on UNDERSTANDING BOOK ADVANCES, and he links up to some articles on the subject.

If you want to see an actual breakdown of what's paid in the Romance industry, check out Brenda Hiatt's famous SHOW ME THE MONEY! Here's an example of how she breaks it down according to line/imprint:

Steeple Hill (Love Inspired)..................................................................................63
Average advance (first book): $3400
Average advance (subsequent books): $4900
Advance range: $3000 - $7000
Standard royalty percentage: 6%
Average earn-out: $7900 Range: $5,000 - $18,000

(The "63" all the way to the upper right refers to the number of book titles in theat particular line that were considered in coming up with the ranges/averages.)

You can see why many romance authors kill their wrists and backs working on four or more novels per year in order to get some kind of livable income from advances.

My hubby spent months of work and lost 15 pounds (from skipping meals and working into the wee hours after his regular job)during the writing of his textbook. He got a 7K advance. That was close to two years ago. No royalties yet.

Clearly, it's a privileged few making megabucks advances.


Anonymous said...

What I wanna know is, who's reading books cranked out at the rate of four a year by authors just trying to make a living?

Mirtika said...

I used to be one of those readers, babe. :)

And one of the top-selling authors who is perenially on the bestseller lists (sometimes mutiple books at a time) write like a half dozen books a year. Initials N.R.

Some write fast (Nora Roberts), some train themselves to write fast (Suzanne Brockman), and some aspire to write fast. If you write 12 hours a day every day, I suppose you'd have quite an output, too. (That was Janet Dailey's schedule back in her heyday.)


Josh said...

By the way, a little behind on noticing, but thanks kindly for the link.