Originally Posted by underthecity
For Gjmort and the other new authors joining us, I mentioned thise a couple pages ago, but it bears repeating in case you missed it: authors typically don't openly discuss their royalties. That's akin to openly discussing how much you make at your full-time job. And what's worse is that the royalties the PA authors are discussing over there and over here are disturbingly LOW, as in under $10. That is NOT TYPICAL of NORMAL publishers.
Normal royalties will be in the upper $1000s range, at the very least. And the figures are not open for discussion on public message boards.
Some of you might find these links interesting--lurking PAers in particular may want to take note regarding royalties and advances. Compare your numbers with these, my friends....
Discussion of Advances with handy comparative scale- http://www.scalzi.com/whatever/002860.html
$0 to $1,000: A Shitty Deal. Because that's what it is, my friends. Possibly the only thing worse than a shitty deal is no deal at all. Possibly.
$3,000 to $5,000: A Contemptible Deal. The deal you get when your publisher has well and truly got your number, and it is low.
$5,000 to $10,000: A "Meh" Deal. It's not great, you know. But you can pay some bills. Get a few of these, and a tolerant spouse with a regular income, and you can tell your day job to piss off. This year, anyway.
$10,000 to $20,000: A Not Bad Deal. Note that "not bad" here should be said with a slight appreciative rise of the eyebrows and a small approving nod -- this is the level at which the money begins to look not embarrassing both to writers and non-writers. A couple of these, and you'll definitely be punting the day job (I did, anyway).
$20,000 to $100,000: A "Shut Up!" Deal. This needs to be said in the same enviously admiring vocal tone as a teenage girl might use to her girlfriend who is showing off the delicious new pumps she got at Robinsons-May for 30% off, or the vocal tone (same idea, lower register) Jim Kelly used when one of our number admitted to having at least a couple of deals in this range. With this kind of money, you don't even need a supportive spouse to avoid the Enforced Top Ramen Diet (although, you know. Having one doesn't hurt). But it's not so much that the other writers actively begin to hate you.
$100,000 and above: "I'm Getting the Next Round." Because if you're at this level, you can buy and sell all the other writers at the table. Get 'em a friggin' beer, for God's sake (ironically, this is the only level not thought up at the bar, but in the cold hard light of the next morning, by Shara Zoll).
Discussion on earning out:
And a semipublic discussion of royalties and advances among published science fiction authors.
Dear PA authors-who-may-lurk:
Please note that these companies are paying advances in the thousands of dollars. Whatever else that may be, it's at least a 1000 times more than what PA is offering you with the one dollar token advance. If you feel that PA is taking a chance on you, consider that these other publishers are taking 1000 times that chance on their authors. They also bear the brunt of promotion costs. Who do you think is actually taking a chance?
Look at it this way: PA is the guy who talks big at the dinner table and then skibbles back to sneak back to snag the huge tip he dropped to impress his girlfriend. PA says they are taking a chance--but their money is not where their mouth is.