Re: RARA-AVIS: Mercenary Questions

From: Dave Zeltserman (
Date: 22 Jan 2008

Al, you forgot to subtract from that the 10-15 percent you have to pay your blood-sucking agent... I'm sorry, "blood-sucking" was a typo, I meant to type "dedicated, trustworthy, hard-working", but it just keeps coming out "blood-sucking"...

--Dave Z.

--- In, "Allan Guthrie" <allan@...> wrote:
> Authors generally get an advance (a non-refundable sum), in
expectation of
> royalties (a percentage of the cover price). A good agent (or wise
> will try to negotiate an escalator, so that (loose example), on
> paperback sales of over 4000 copies the royalty rate rises from 7.5
> to 10 percent and over 10000 copies it might rise to 12.5 percent.
> publishers are agreeable to this, and others aren't. An escalator
> slightly, the increasingly prevalent 'deep discount' clause which
> previously agreed royalty rates on occasions where the publisher
> books to retail outlets at high discounts (much of the time in the
UK, where
> book discounting is pernicious). If the advance is paid back, the
> get cheques twice a year for any subsequent sales. There are
various other
> bonuses that can be built in -- again, depending on the publisher.
> In the UK, authors are also compensated by library loans (a few
pence each
> time a book is borrowed). Authors can also be compensated by rights
> audio, film, foreign language, etc.
> It's very hard to say what the average noir/hardboiled author would
earn on
> a single book, since there are so many variables. But the average
> for a first novel in the US is reputed to be around $4K these days.
> average advance paid to authors (new and established) in the UK
last year
> was £4K (around $8K). Sadly, even with those unimpressive figures,
> advances don't earn out.
> Al
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "mburch5717" <mburch5717@...>
> > For instance is there any feel for what the average noir or
> > author would earn on a book that isn't a blockbuster? When you do
> > a blockbuster or at least something that sells well, how is that
> > defined in terms of what the author is compensated and how many
> > are sold? By blockbuster or best-seller I would assume we're
> > about an Elmore Leonard or Michael Connelly novel vs someone who
> > a good novel but who doesn't have huge sales?

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 22 Jan 2008 EST