Bad news, folks. Only 10% of books earn out their advances, which means the advance is all you’d get. All the royalties earned go toward paying down the advance. Sad, isn’t it?
Here’s a quote from agent Kristin Nelson: “--Don’t quit you day job until the back end royalties can pay for your daily living expenses without issue. Back end is the royalty money you earn once your advance has earned out. This does not include the advance you might earn for your next book because that’s an advanced that hasn’t earned out yet. And just an FYI, statistically speaking (and this is by no means exact), only about 10% of books actually earn out their advances. The good majority of them don’t. And here’s another interesting tidbit, if a book does earn out the advance, it can take 2 years or more before that happens. One of my authors just earned out (which is hugely exciting) but it took 4 years. Now you know why I emphasize back end royalties that pay your daily living expenses without an issue.”
You can read her posts here for part one and here for part two.
How does this make you feel? Frustrated? Challenged? Depressed?