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Candid Article about Book Advances earned by a Traditionally-Published Author (1 Viewer)

Excelsior88

Senior Member
Not going to lie, I am flabbergasted at the numbers there. I work full-time and don't see myself leaving my job just because I may get a book published. Even with those high a numbers (if you find them high), I wouldn't leave my job, personally. But I would certainly see about using that money so I don't have to work full-time for someone else. Like setting up my own business or something to the same affect. I was actually sold with getting published and being given a hundred bucks or something for an advance. If I could command the numbers that are laid out in that link I'd be happy regardless of the sales afterwards. I can only hope I have that chance. Very nice info in that link, thank you.
 

Ralph Rotten

Staff member
Media Manager
Very interesting article Mikey.
She talked about the sales arc (that I mentioned in my rant). Books climb to a peak, then plunge to almost zero, so don't expect it to keep earning forever.

She also talked about how hard it is to write full time. That part was kind of depressing. I guess I'll keep buying those lottery tickets. :)

The 8-12% royalty rate was a bit frightening. As an Indie I make about 70% royalty on everything I sell. But a publishing contract would be 8-12% of a much bigger pie...
 

Excelsior88

Senior Member
She also talked about how hard it is to write full time. That part was kind of depressing. I guess I'll keep buying those lottery tickets. :)

I think it'd be great to write full time. I could work on my own schedule and not have a boss breathing down my back telling me how to do my job. Thing is you would still have deadlines(per the publisher, most likely), you may still have to "work for someone else" depending on your situation, then there's the editors telling you what you'd need to change. Point being, I'll write to supplement my income not substitute it. Now if my first novel is the likes of Stephen King, well all bets are off at that point. Of course, I won't hold my breath.
 

moderan

WF Veterans
I think it'd be great to write full time. I could work on my own schedule and not have a boss breathing down my back telling me how to do my job. Thing is you would still have deadlines(per the publisher, most likely), you may still have to "work for someone else" depending on your situation, then there's the editors telling you what you'd need to change. Point being, I'll write to supplement my income not substitute it. Now if my first novel is the likes of Stephen King, well all bets are off at that point. Of course, I won't hold my breath.
Your schedule will depend on economics. Very few professional writers write just novels. Articles, reviews, short stories, etc., are always in the mix. LitHub, LitReactor, places like that, are populated by moonlighting novelists. And they still have day jobs. I know exactly a dozen full-time professional writers out of perhaps a thousand I'm acquainted with.
Publishers' editors aren't there to tell you what to change. They're there to make sure that the material is salable. Your own editor is there to help you make your point as clearly as possible.
If you want to make a living, don't write niche. YA, fantasy/paranormal romance, romance, that's what you want to write. Or litfic, though usually you want academic credentials and an audience derived therefrom to do that.
 

Excelsior88

Senior Member
Publishers' editors aren't there to tell you what to change. They're there to make sure that the material is salable. Your own editor is there to help you make your point as clearly as possible.

I understand this. I don't know why I have this author vs. the editor mentality. I'm sure it's more akin to a teacher who's hard on a student only because they know their potential and want them to succeed. Maybe I'm just stubborn like that and maybe it's also because I haven't actually ever worked with an editor. Having this in mind, if I ever get to the point of working with an editor I'll need to take the criticism/changes as a new perspective and not an attack; just like having anyone else looking at the work to improve it.
 

moderan

WF Veterans
I haven't actually ever worked with an editor
That's very clear -- not a knock. You'll need a much thicker hide and the ability to accurately self-assess. That last is the rare bit that will separate you from the herd.
 

Excelsior88

Senior Member
Hopefully, I'll eventually find out what it's like. Until then, I'll learn what to expect from everyone here who has worked with them.

Btw, moderan, love how straightforward you are. I'm sure some may take it as abrasive or an attack, which in some cases it may be, but I just find it very blunt and to the point. No mincing words with plenty of advice on top.
 

Ralph Rotten

Staff member
Media Manager
Hopefully, I'll eventually find out what it's like. Until then, I'll learn what to expect from everyone here who has worked with them.

Btw, moderan, love how straightforward you are. I'm sure some may take it as abrasive or an attack, which in some cases it may be, but I just find it very blunt and to the point. No mincing words with plenty of advice on top.



Might as well get used to it.
Harsh critiques are the only thing that is not in short supply when you are a writer. :(
 

Excelsior88

Senior Member
Well it's been probably 10 years since I've had anyone harshly critiqued anything I've written when it comes to how I write vs what. Last time would have been my sophomore year of college and I hadn't thought about English, grammar, or even writing in general since then. Anything I've written after that point was research studies, journals clubs, and the like. Things based in facts and no creativity or imagination. I cry(metaphorically) thinking about all the missed opportunities and time I've wasted now that I have so many ideas to write down. So taking any harsh critique from anyone more knowledgeable than myself is definitely welcome hence why I'm here. If I wanted praise I'm sure I could find that elsewhere on the internet. If I thought my writing was perfect, I wouldn't be here looking for help with it. Plus, in my profession, if I didn't have a thick skin I'd have been fired a long time ago so I have no issues with that whatsoever.
 

Bayview

WF Veterans
I'll chip in to say I've never had what I'd consider a harsh critique from any professional in publishing, and that includes agents/editors who didn't want to work with me (on a given project). I've read way worse (with much less validity) on writing forums.

If an agent or editor cares enough about your project to have agreed to work on it, it's because they see its value. They already think it's pretty good and are just helping to fine tune it into something better. I've had editors suggest some significant revisions (introduction or deletion of a subplot, etc.) but they've always made their comments in respectful, supportive ways.

The aspect of publishing that requires thick skin, in my experience, is the rejection, not the editing. Sending your work out into the void and getting form rejections or nothing at all in return? That can be tough. But once the work is accepted, everyone is likely to be really supportive. You've made it past the tryouts and you're on the team. They want you to do well.
 
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