As promised, today we are continuing talking about The Business of Writing. Writing should be a job like any other job. Setting hours to operate your business is important. Consider every aspect of the business world and look at your writing. Learning to write is part of the business, as is taking classes and learning the craft. Today we’ll look at contracts and royalties.
Contracts can be very mystifying, but it is simply a piece of paper that you and the publisher sign to assign your book over to them to publish. Things that should be included is your name spelled correctly, or your pen name, the date of publication, the amount of royalties to both you and the agent. Yes, there is a lot of mumbo jumbo, but it is there to protect both you and the publisher. There are conditions if either you or the publisher fail to get the manuscript done in a timely manner.
A contract is a legal document. Ours is very simple, but some are not. It is a protection for you and the publisher. You give the publisher the right to publish your book. I used to be scared of contracts, but not any more.
Royalties are the amount of the commission you are paid by the publisher. Some publishers give an advance. This is money paid to you when you sign the contract and send the manuscript as they have stated. It is divided into parts from what I’m told. You get some when you sign the contract, some when the manuscript is delivered to the publisher, and the remainder when the book is published. You usually don’t get any money until the advance is paid back plus all charges for publishing. Then you get a percentage of the books sold.
Royalties are never discussed between writers. We have no idea what anyone receives, but it can range from four figures to six figures depending on the publisher and your sales numbers.
There are some publishers who do not give an advance, but give a better royalty. Royalties are paid either quarterly or every six months. We never ask for money from the author. We pay all publishing costs without the author paying anything. I’m not sure what other publisher do, but we feel it helps the author to know we are not going to take anything from them.
If a publisher asks you to pay anything up front to publish your book, run as fast as you can. They are a vanity press. The cost they charge you is not going to offset what you will get when you sell your book. They make a lot of promises but don’t carry through. The selling of the book is up to you. You have thousands of books to sell, and it isn’t worth it. Don’t be fooled by a vanity press.
Have a blessed day.