How exactly do advances work?

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Irysangel

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Someone else also pointed out to me recently that a 'bonus' isn't really extra money. It's still a 'bonus' against advances. They're just paying it to you early.
 

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Someone else also pointed out to me recently that a 'bonus' isn't really extra money. It's still a 'bonus' against advances. They're just paying it to you early.

Very true. Publishers don't "give" you any money at all; they pay you what they believe your book will earn.

That's why a P&L (Profit and Loss) sheet is worked up before a publisher makes an offer. The publisher does gamble, but only up to a point; they tend to have a pretty damned good idea of at least the minimum sales a book is likely to earn.

Not that they don't risk their money -- more with some books than others, obviously -- but they usually do what they can to minimize the chances of a financial loss.
 
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