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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Really show the money!


As I explained in a previous post, publishers pay on different schedules. Some pay monthly, some pay quarterly, or bi-annually or even once a year. Many publishers in the LDS market pay twice a year and for many of us, those royalty checks showed up a couple weeks ago.

We all say we don’t write for the money, mostly because the time we put into a book isn’t necessarily equal in our minds to the money we make off of it. However, that does not mean that the money isn’t a really really really nice detail of our writing careers. Many of us hope one day to support our families off of our writing, so, yes, the money matters. But even among other published authors, the money is not something we openly talk about. For one thing, we don’t want to be seen as money-hungry, nor do we want to be seen as bragging, or make anyone feel badly that is not in the same place we are. And, there is also a demographic of readers that don’t think we should make any money off of books that have LDS elements. All of these reasons keep us pretty tight-lipped.

That’s the theory, but that’s not what this blog is about. Rather, this blog is an invitation I’m sending out to all authors—LDS or not—to share what their last royalty check was. I figure if I'm curious about it, other people are too, and, though we might not write FOR the money, up and coming authors ought to know what they can expect--both good and bad.

So, authors, here is the format I’d like you to follow.

Royalty amount: $324.20
Payment for: January 2007 (or whatever time period you are being paid for)

LDS Market (or National)

Multiple titles (or one title if that’s what you’re receiving royalty on)
Yes I had a book published within the last year (or no, I have not had a book published within the last year)


Please do not put your name, publisher, or identifiable information on your royalty information—I don’t want any publishers to be annoyed with me.

Thanks for playing

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm game

*royalty amount=$167.??
*time=December 2006
*LDS market
*royalty for more than one book title sales
*No book published in the last year

I used the money to pay my power bill and this is the most recent check I've received because my publisher doesn't pay unless I have at least fifty dollars coming, and I haven't earned fifty dollars in the last two months.

I'm curios to see what other authors have to report

Josi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

LDS market
Royalty: $10,869.33
Time: Jan-June 07'
Multiple titles
I published a book within the last year

I put $3000 away for taxes, paid tithing and paid up some of my children's activities for the next year so I could get a discount. this is the biggest check I've ever received.Fun game, Josi

Anonymous said...

$800.00
2006
National
1 title
No book published this year

Anonymous said...

Royalty amount $3300.
Time 2007
LDS Market
Royalty for one book published this year.

Still deciding how (only 200 or so possibilities) to spend the check.

Anonymous said...

I'm game, too. :)

*Royalty Amount: $885
*Time: Oct. 2006-March 2007
*LDS Market
*One book title
*No book published in the last year

I should make a note, though, that this was a bit atypical for me. I get two royalty payments a year, and my annual royalties add up to about $$300-500 per year for that one book.

Anonymous said...

Royalty amount $360

Time: 1st half of 2007

LDS Market

Royalty for one book title

No book published in the last year

I'd be interested in authors reporting the percentage they get as royalty.

Anonymous said...

Amount: $5200
Time: July-December 06
LDS Market
Multiple Titles
Only one book published in the last year.

Josi said...

Anon #6 ($360) I think I might ask about that next week.

Thanks for playing everyone--I'm intrigued!!

An Ordinary Mom said...

Very intriguing.

Anonymous said...

Last royalty check on a single book - $350.00 Oct 2006-April 2007. I have other books that give me monthly royalties, but the largest has been for $70.00, and then I could go a couple of months with no royalty. I had three more books published this year. My royalty money goes into savings for a trip around the world, (after tithing is paid.) WooHoo! At this rate, I may get there before I die!

Anonymous said...

Woops. In the previous post, I forgot to mention that I write in the LDS market... for now. The future waits for change in the wind!

Anonymous said...

Royalty: $730
Time: First 1/2 of 2007
LDS Market
Mostly for one book, but a little for back titles
No book in 2007.

Previous check (second 1/2 of 2006) was for a new book and that was around $6,000.

Anonymous said...

Royalty amount: Royalty? Was there a royalty? My last check was for around $30.00, if I recall correctly.

Payment for: Sometime in early 2006, I believe


LDS Market

Multiple titles -- two

No book within the last year

Anonymous said...

LDS market
Hardcover
3 books 2004-2006
Average royalty $11,000 a book

Anonymous said...

Okay, I can't remember my last royalty exactly, but I make between 20-30,000 a year writing in the national market. (Two new books a year plus older books.)My spouse tells me that last year I had 5,000 in expenses. (Can that be?) This year I know I'll have way more. So that sort of eats away at the total.

Anonymous said...

*royalty amount=$57.00
*time=Jan-July 2007
*LDS market
*royalty for one book title sales (book published several years ago)
*No book published in the last year

I laughed when i got it . . . it paid my phone bill. It does help to keep in mind that the continuance of publication increases sales. Had a book been released in the last year, not only would I have the 7-10,000 dollars for that, but it would have perked up my sad sales on the other book. This is why it is important to continue to write. Fun game Josi!

Anonymous said...

I'm in.

Royalty amount-$259
Time: November 2006 to March 2007
LDS Marekt
Royalty for one book.
*Shared authorship on title.

Barely enough to cash.

Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

Josi, you are invited to join the LDS Blog Webring I set up. You may do by going to my blogspot, locating the webring on the righthand side of the page and clicking on Join. Hope to see you come aboard.

Be sure to insert the code on your blogspot right after signing up or it halts the progression of the webring as people click on next.

Belladonna said...

What's intriguing about this to me is it raises the whole issue about how we feel about money in general.

Clearly, whether we are writers or chicken farmers or bus drivers or nuclear scientists, money is an important part of the equation of why we do what we do. It's not ONLY about the money or we'd all deal drugs for a living. But we do need to earn enough shekels to live, besides which we use dollar amounts to measure the scale of social acknowledgment our efforts are deemed worthy of.

I find it crazy that someone who throws a ball well can make millions while some teachers educating our future generation qualify for food stamps. Clearly, how much money we get may not be the best or most accurate measuring stick of the value or contribution of our work.

Still - within in a single work category - in this case writing - it IS interesting to see what the range is.

Many years ago I earnd $35 for an article I had published in Ensign. I ran up a $65 phone bill telling all my extended family. My husband told me I could never afford to market my words if I maintained that sort of ratio.

Some may consider it in bad taste to talk salaries. I disagree. Silence about what each other makes is what has made it possible for men to continue to be paid higher for the exact same jobs as some women.

It also is good for starting out writers to get an idea of the range that is possible.

To my way of thinking, this is a positive thing.