RARA-AVIS: Re: Mercenary Questions

From: Kat Richardson ( kathyr136@comcast.net)
Date: 22 Jan 2008

I don't know if one can call a situation that's been on going for 20 years a "crisis" anymore. It's a fact that publishers have largely become corporate machines run by corporate rules were the middle of the product pack is always ridden the hardest and treated the worst.

With respect to the original question, the Mode (most common) advance for new authors is currently $3,500 or $5,000 depending on the niche the book will be marketed to and the format the book will come out in.
 For the author whose books sell well enough to keep the contracts coming but doesn't break out to the bestseller list, the Median price per book will be 10-20k (same factors apply). That's really not enough to live on in the US. When an author "breaks out" or moves close to doing so, advances go up. A lot. The high end of the midlist pays about what a secretary makes on annual salary but without benefits or job security. These numbers are courtesy of Tobias Buckell's annual poll and pestering my published writer friends for their numbers so I could compare SF to Mystery. It's about the same pay off, with Fantasy paying best, Mystery in the middle, and SF the worst.

Kat Richardson

--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, jxshannon2@... wrote: > > Publishing is in a crisis, as we all know, and many midlist writers have > found themselves pushed out or relegated to trade paperback originals or small > presses. With the exception of a handful of the very well known writers, I don't > think many of us are ready to give up the day job. > >

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