Average Advances Paid by Publisher


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  1. #1

    Post Average Advances Paid by Publisher

    Quoted from Brenda Hiatt's website. Last updated: July, 2013.

    What do the various romance (and YA) publishers pay? Here’s the best info I've gleaned from a dozen years of surveying authors who were generous enough to volunteer their figures. Royalty percentages are based on cover price unless otherwise noted and are for U.S. retail sales. Earnout figures include all earnings for a book, including the advance, royalties, and any subsidiary sales. Publishers are only included if I had at least three responses for that publisher. Similarly, n/a means that specific information wasn’t available. Ranges for advances and earnouts are provided to control for the skewing that one or two outliers might cause, as are median figures. Only titles released in the year 2000 or later are included. I make no claim to statistical significance–I simply present what I’ve received, operating on the assumption that some information is far better than none at all.

    ………………………………………………………………………………………..# of titles included

    Avon/HarperCollins
    ……………………………………………………………………………61
    Average advance (first book): $17,400 Median: $8000
    Average advance (subsequent books): $28,300 Median: $12,500
    Advance range: $5000 – $180,000
    Standard print royalty: 8% Electronic: 25% (net)
    Average earn-out: $18,000 Median: $13,500 Range: $9,000 – $35,000


    Baker/Revell
    ……………………………………………………………………………………….12
    Average advance: $8800 Median: $9250
    Advance range: $6700 – $10,000
    Standard print royalty: 8-17% (net) Electronic: 25-50% (net)
    Average earn-out: n/a


    Ballantine
    ………………………………………………………………………………………….21
    Average advance (first book): $40,000 Median: $40,000
    Average advance (subsequent books): $172,000 Median: $175,000
    Advance range: $40,000 – $275,000
    Standard print royalty: 8%
    Average earn-out: n/a


    Bantam/Dell
    ……………………………………………………………………………………….15
    Average advance: $17,000 Median: $20,000
    Advance range: $7500 – $25,000
    Standard print royalty: 8%
    Average earn-out: n/a


    Barbour & Co.
    (Novellas) …………………………………………………………………12
    Average advance: $1000 Median: $1000
    Standard print royalty: 2.5%
    Average earn-out: n/a


    Barbour & Co.
    (Trade Fiction) ……………………………………………………………4
    Average advance: $8750 Median: $8750
    Standard print royalty: 8%
    Average earn-out: n/a


    Belle/Bell Bridge Books
    ……………………………………………………………………..7
    Average advance: $330 Median: $250
    Standard print royalty: 8% Electronic: 40% (net)
    Average earn-out: $13,000 Median: $10,600


    Berkley/Jove
    ………………………………………………………………………………………78
    Average advance (first book): $8100 Median: $7000
    Average advance (subsequent books): $12,200 Median: $8000
    Advance range: $4000 – $40,000
    Standard print royalty: 6% – 8% Electronic: 15% (cover) – 25% (net)
    Average earn-out: $15,700 Median: $10,000 Range: $5000 – $50,000


    Berkley
    (novellas) ………………………………………………………………………………4
    Average advance: $6900 Median: $6300
    Standard print royalty: 2-3.75%
    Average earn-out: n/a


    Breathless Press
    …………………………………………………………………………………8
    Average advance: none
    Standard electronic royalty: 40%
    Average earn-out: $200 Median: $150


    Cerridwen/Blush (EC)
    ……………………………………………………………………………9
    Average advance: none
    Standard print royalty: 7.5% Electronic 37.5% onsite 37.5% (net) elsewhere
    Average earn-out: $400 Median: $100


    Dutton/Signet/NAL
    ……………………………………………………………………………..35
    Average advance (first book): $9400 Median: $10,000
    Average advance (subsequent books): $21,000 Median: $12,500
    Advance range: $6000 – $85,000
    Standard print royalty: 7.5 – 8%
    Average earn-out: n/a


    Ellora’s Cave
    ……………………………………………………………………………………..138
    Average advance: none
    Standard print royalty: 7.5% Electronic 40% onsite 40% (net) elsewhere
    Average earn-out: $3100 Median: $2300 Range: $250 – $14,000


    Ellora’s Cave
    (anthologies/novellas) ………………………………………………….38
    Average advance: none
    Standard electronic royalty: varies by number of authors
    Average earn-out: $2250 Median: $2100 Range: $430 – $7100


    Entangled
    ………………………………………………………………………………………….11
    Average advance: none
    Standard print royalty: 9% Electronic 40% onsite 40% (net) elsewhere
    Average earn-out: $89,000 Median: $32,600 Range: $500 – $500,000


    Five Star/Thorndike
    (hardcover) ………………………………………………………….8
    Average advance: $1150 Median: $1000
    Advance range: $750 – $2000
    Standard print royalty: 10%
    Average earn-out: $1850 Median: $850 Range: $750 – $4000


    Grand Central Publishing
    (Warner/Hachette) ……………………………………….61
    Average advance (first book): $7000 Median: $6000
    Average advance (subsequent books): $16,500 Median: $10,000
    Advance range: $5000 – $75,000
    Standard print royalty: 8%
    Average earn-out: $38,500 Median: $31,500 Range: $8300 – $100,000


    Harlequin American
    …………………………………………………………………………..23
    Average advance (first book): $4400 Median: $4500
    Average advance (subsequent books): $5000 Median: $5000
    Advance range: $4000 – $8500
    Standard print royalty: 6% Electronic: 6%
    Average earn-out: $7100 Median: $7600 Range: $4500 – $10,100


    Harlequin Blaze
    ………………………………………………………………………………..31
    Average advance (first book): $4350 Median: $4000
    Average advance (subsequent books): $5500 Median: $5300
    Advance range: $4000 – $10,500
    Standard print royalty: 6% Electronic: 6%
    Average earn-out: $12,500 Median: $12,300 Range: $10,500 – $15,000


    Harlequin Desire
    ……………………………………………………………………………..42
    Average advance (first book): $4400 Median: $4000
    Average advance (subsequent books): $5600 Median: $5000
    Advance range: $4000 – $8,000
    Standard print royalty: 6% Electronic 6%
    Average earn-out: $17,200 Median: $17,000 Range: $11,000 – $26,000


    Harlequin Historical
    …………………………………………………………………………33
    Average advance (first book): $3400 Median: $2500
    Average advance (subsequent books): $5400 Median: $5500
    Advance range: $2500 – $8,000
    Standard print royalty: 6% Electronic: 6%
    Average earn-out: $9100 Median: $8650 Range: $6700 – $13,000


    Harlequin Intrigue
    ……………………………………………………………………………..23
    Average advance (first book): $3900 Median: $4000
    Average advance (subsequent books): $4700 Median: $4500
    Advance range: $3500 – $7000
    Standard print royalty: 6% Electronic: 6%
    Average earn-out: $12,000 Median: $12,000 Range: $8,000 – $17,500


    Harlequin Mills & Boon
    (Incl. Medical) ……………………………………………….24
    Average advance (first book): $3600 Median: $4000
    Average advance (subsequent books): $3900 Median: $4000
    Advance range: $2000 – $5000
    Standard print royalty: 6% Electronic: 6% (20%net)
    Average earn-out: n/a


    Harlequin Nocturne
    ……………………………………………………………………………..10
    Average advance: $6300 Median: $62500
    Advance range: $6000 – $8000
    Standard print royalty: 6% Electronic 20% (net)
    Average earn-out: n/a


    Harlequin Nocturne
    (Bites)…………………………………………………………………..5
    Average advance: $1000 Median: $1000
    Standard print royalty: 6% Electronic 20%
    Average earn-out: $1000 Median: $1000


    Harlequin Romance
    ……………………………………………………………………………..16
    Average advance (first book): $2400 Median: $2400
    Average advance (subsequent books): $3200 Median: $2400
    Advance range: $2400 – $7000
    Standard print royalty: 6% Electronic: 6%
    Average earn-out: $10,100 Median: $10,000 Range: $7400 – $12,800


    Harlequin Romantic Suspense
    ……………………………………………………………..13
    Average advance (first book): n/a
    Average advance (subsequent books): $5600 Median: $5500
    Advance range: $4000 – $7500
    Standard print royalty: 6% Electronic 6%
    Average earn-out: $11,000 Median: $11,000 Range: $9500 – $13,500


    Harlequin Special Edition
    ……………………………………………………………………29
    Average advance (first book): $4100 Median: $4000
    Average advance (subsequent books): $7300 Median: $8000
    Advance range: $4000 – $13,000
    Standard print royalty: 6% Electronic 6%
    Average earn-out: $17,500 Median: $17,000 Range: $12,000 – $23,000


    Harlequin Superromance
    ……………………………………………………………………..73
    Average advance (first book): $5000 Median: $5000
    Average advance (subsequent books): $5500 Median: $5500
    Advance range: $4000 – $7000
    Standard print royalty: 6% Electronic: 6%
    Average earn-out: $15,000 Median: $15,000 Range: $8,000 – $28,000


    HQN
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………14
    Average advance: $18,000 Median: $19,000
    Advance range: $8500 – $55,000
    Standard print royalty: 8% Electronic: 25% (net)
    Average earn-out: n/a


    Harper Teen
    ………………………………………………………………………………………..8
    Average advance: $51,000 Median: $40,000
    Advance range: $20,000 – $80,000
    Standard print royalty: 6% trade 10% hc Electronic: 25% (net)
    Average earn-out: n/a


    Kensington/Zebra
    ………………………………………………………………………………..149
    Average advance (first book): $3500 Median: $3000
    Average advance (subsequent books): $7100 Median: $3700
    Advance range: $1750 – $60,000
    Standard print royalty: 6 – 8% Electronic: 25% (net)
    Average earn-out: $6200 Median: $3800 Range: $2500 – $17,800


    Kensington
    (novellas) ……………………………………………………………………………29
    Average advance: $2750 Median: $1500
    Advance range: $750 – $9000
    Standard print royalty: 2 – 3.75%
    Average earn-out: n/a


    Liquid Silver
    ………………………………………………………………………………………….14
    Average advance: none
    Standard electronic royalty: 40%
    Average earn-out: $900 Median: $230 Range: $70 – $3400


    Loose Id
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………..25
    Average advance: none
    Standard print royalty: 7% Electronic: 35%
    Average earn-out: $2200 Median: $1450 Range: $200 – $9000


    Love Inspired
    ………………………………………………………………………………………….71
    Average advance (first book): $4200 Median: $4000
    Average advance (subsequent books): $5750 Median: $5500
    Advance range: $3500 – $9500
    Standard print royalty: 6% Electronic: 6%
    Average earn-out: $11,400 Median: $10,900 Range: $6500 – $18,000


    Medallion Press
    ………………………………………………………………………………………..6
    Average advance: $1200 Median: $1000
    Advance range: $1000 – $2000
    Standard print royalty: 10%
    Average earn-out: n/a


    MIRA
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………8
    Average advance: $80,000 Median: $17,500
    Advance range: $15,000 – $450,000
    Standard print royalty: 8% Electronic: 8%
    Average earn-out: n/a


    Pocket
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..30
    Average advance (first book): $10,400 Median: $5000
    Average advance (subsequent books): $16,700 Median: $12,500
    Advance range: $5000 – $50,000
    Standard print royalty: 8 – 10% Electronic: 25% (net)
    Average earn-out: n/a


    Random House/Delacorte
    (YA)…………………………………………………………………….7
    Average advance (first book): $28,000 Median: $18,000
    Average advance (subsequent books): $90,000 Median: $92,500
    Advance range: $15,000 – $125,000
    Standard print royalty: 6 – 10%
    Average earn-out: $110,000 Median: $128,000


    Red Sage
    (novellas) …………………………………………………………………………………11
    Average advance: $550 Median: $750
    Advance range: $50 – $1000
    Standard print royalty: 1.5 – 6% (varies by # of authors)
    Average earn-out: $2300 Median: $2250 Range: $1000 – $3600


    St. Martin’s Press
    …………………………………………………………………………………….35
    Average advance (first book): $18,000 Median: $7500
    Average advance (subsequent books): $37,000 Median: $18,000
    Advance range: $4500 – $200,000
    Standard print royalty: 7.5-10% Electronic: 25% (net)
    Average earn-out: n/a


    Samhain
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………….28
    Average advance: $60 Median: $100
    Advance range: $0 – $100
    Standard print royalty: 8 – 10% Electronic: 40% onsite 30% elsewhere
    Average earn-out: $3500 Median: $1750 Range: $300 – $15,000


    Simon & Schuster
    Pulse/McElderry/UK (YA)……………………………………………..7
    Average advance: $17,000 Median: $22,000
    Advance range: $10,000 – $25,000
    Standard print royalty: 6%mm 7% t 10%hc
    Average earn-out: n/a


    Siren Bookstrand
    …………………………………………………………………………………….26
    Average advance: none
    Standard print royalty: 6% Electronic: 40% onsite 50%(net) elsewhere
    Average earn-out: $5500 Median: $1700 Range: $100 – $24,000


    Sourcebooks
    …………………………………………………………………………………………..43
    Average advance (first book): $2000 Median: $1600
    Average advance (subsequent books): $4200 Median: $1700
    Advance range: $1000 – $17,500
    Standard print royalty: 6-8% Electronic: 8-25% (net)
    Average earn-out: n/a


    Tor/Forge
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………….22
    Average advance (first book): $11,000 Median: $10,000
    Average advance (subsequent books): $14,000 Median: $14,000
    Advance range: $7500 – $20,000
    Standard print royalty: 8%
    Average earn-out: n/a


    Wild Rose Press
    ………………………………………………………………………………………21
    Average advance: none
    Standard print royalty: 7% Electronic: 35% onsite 35% (net) elsewhere
    Average earn-out: $3500 Median: $230 Range: $50 – 65,000
    Last edited by Kyle R; April 23rd, 2014 at 11:05 PM.

  2. #2
    good thread, kyle. a reality thread. most small publishers don't offer advances at all. and the pay-out is much up to the author him/herself, as far
    as royalties. unless a fiction writer hits the "big 6"? good luck on the money thing.
    "Man, you should have seen them kicking Edgar Allan Poe.

  3. #3
    Nice post.

    I remember reading Derek Landy's comment about the advance he got for a promise of 9 Skulduggery Pleasant books.

    I can't find the reference now, but I definitely remember he said "7 figures" was his advance. I can only imagine he was including the pence in that - unless he got the advance for each individual book in one go - but then, that would still be 111,112.11 per book (ish)

    So am I to assume then the 7 figures included pence? I wish I could find that reference.

    The figures you put forth were already the kind of figures I expected. Though it is nice to dream... people like to comment on the success of J.K. Rowling who 5 years ago was already supposed to be in the hundreds of millions from Harry Potter - but the bulk of her money came from outside the books. Movies, Candy, Dolls, Merchandise etc...
    I would love to know what contract she got from Bloomsbury.

    Alas my passion for writing isn't so grand as wanting everything I write to be published. I mostly write for me - but a book on the shelves is a bucket list dream, so it still interests me a little what people earn.

    "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.― Mahatma Gandhi


    If you want me to respond to a thread or your work just pm me.

  4. #4
    This is about what I've found through credible sources. Anywhere from 5-10k is about what you can hope for on your first contract.

    But it's interesting to see some of the big numbers and who they come from.
    I have an extensive knowledge of Mean Girls quotes.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Greimour View Post
    Nice post.

    I remember reading Derek Landy's comment about the advance he got for a promise of 9 Skulduggery Pleasant books.

    I can't find the reference now, but I definitely remember he said "7 figures" was his advance. I can only imagine he was including the pence in that - unless he got the advance for each individual book in one go - but then, that would still be 111,112.11 per book (ish)

    So am I to assume then the 7 figures included pence? I wish I could find that reference.
    As I understand it, Derek Landy was paid 1.8 million for the publishing rights of his first book. However, Landy already had a high quality reputation in screenwriting and could therefore command seven figure advances - fame in any field can work that way. The ranges, averages and means listed in the OP are first books dominated by previous unknowns.
    "I don't know ... I'm making it up as I go ..." - Dr I Jones

    Nature abhors perfection - cats abhor a vacuum!

    "Faith can move mountains - she's a big girl!" (unknown/graffiti)

    If I act like I own the place, it's because I did.





  6. #6
    Member dvspec's Avatar
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    I like this post and now, I think I will take up churning out romances. Between my girls kick butt books of course.

  7. #7
    I got $2000 the first time my book was published, and $3000 the second time, in 2006.

  8. #8

  9. #9
    Excellent details. The advance would surely be co-related to how well the Publisher feels it can be marketing and sold. Many times a higher advance automatically leads to higher sales as more will be invested in marketing and publicity.

    Love to all!

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