Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Does Romance make Dollars or Cents?

Let's dispel a publishing myth--most of us are not going to get rich on our first book, or maybe not even the second--or any of them.  Ya can't be in it for the money, folks . . . it's gotta be about the love of telling a great story.  It's the lucky few, who can actually make a living at writing fiction.  David Morrell quotes a figure something like, as few as 2,500 fiction authors in the US can make a living at it.  The huge advances we read about are absolutely the exception.

It's rude to ask people how much money they make--even authors--which for some strange reason, many people seem to feel are exempt from polite social norms.  I guess people feel like writing a book is such an exotic career--or endeavor, that non-writers feel it's okay to rudely ask an author the amount of her/his advance.  It is not!

So what's a newbie writer who wants to evaluate her earning potential to do?  Go to Brenda Hiatt's 'Show me The Money".  This is a current list of what romance publishers pay for advances, future books, and earn-outs.  It's a wonderful easy way to educate yourself and create realistic financial expectations.  Take a look and let me know what you think.



Mary Marvella said...

I think folks are really asking "How much money could I expect to make?"

Writers are so open and helpful new folks forget there are still polite lines we shouldn't cross.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I will have to mark that page!

Quite a variety in royalties, too. I did note that the average percentage was 6-8% - and I'm sure that's usually net, too.

Yes, I've been asked how much I make and it is rude!

L. Diane Wolfe

Edie said...

It's pitiful, isn't it? We gotta love what we do.