1. LuminousTyto
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    LuminousTyto Senior Member

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    Question for you writers who are published or about to be pubished?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by LuminousTyto, Jul 31, 2012.

    I'm curious what the difference is between getting published with a large publisher or a small one. I imagine the largest difference is the amount of royalties, but are there others as well?

    Also, if you're comfortable talking finance, what sort of royalties did you get in your contracts?
     
  2. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Someone recently asked a very similar question, although I forgot the name of the thread. I'm not published, so I can't offer you any insight as to details, but the biggest difference I know of is the marketing support and all the attendant benefits of being a large company with a high credit line.

    One story I heard recently from a published author who is with a small publisher was quite eye-opening. He had a publication date and had set up a bunch of talks where he was going to give speeches, etc and talk up his book. He planned to bring a lot of books with him to sell at the talks he gave (which he said was what gave him the majority of his money -- his purchasing books from the publisher and selling them himself -- he got more money than the royalties from when they were sold in a store). Anyway, a few weeks before his pub date, he has a conversation with his publisher and they tell him they have some bad news -- they don't have enough money to pay the printer to get his books published by his pub date. He ended up loaning them the money to pay the printer to get his books. It worked out okay because he made the money back. But, yikes! What a problem. That isn't going to happen at Penguin or Random House.
     
  3. Crystal Parney
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    Crystal Parney Member

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    I just signed a contract with a small press, a royalty paying only press. I feel like it's a foot in the door. For ebook I get 35% and I am not sure about paperback, although my novel starts out as only ebook. I am excited about my book getting published, but I am think about self publishing for my second book.
     
  4. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Congrats on the publication of your novel, Crystal Parney!

    Larger publisher will likely offer an advance against royalties, have an offset print run and have distribution such that your books in bookstores (not just available to be ordered by a book store). It will likely have better cover art and will be blurbed by recognizable names, and have reviews placed in venues not normally accessible to smaller publishers.

    It will likely take longer to go from acceptance to print/publication with a larger publisher, and they will be more likely to exploit foreign language rights.

    Those are just a few differences off the top of my head. A lot depends on the quality and experience of the small publisher, as to the editing, cover art, and how well they'll be able to support/market your novel.

    For my published works, what I earn per novel sold varies based on the format (ebook, audiobook, or print). I earn the most from audiobooks and the least from ebooks. I received a very small advances against royalties with my novels, which I easly earned out in the first quarter of each release, and the roylties I earn is in about average for what's generally offered/negotiated.
     
  5. LuminousTyto
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    LuminousTyto Senior Member

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  6. AutumnBarlow
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    AutumnBarlow New Member

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    I work on a freelance basis with two publishers. One has many imprints and up until now concentrated on print - it's "big" in its niche, but not a name you'd recognise I think. The other is very niche ebook only. Both pay royalties only.

    I'm learning a lot and one thing that amazed me, coming into this as a writer, was how little money the publishers make. Maybe it's different in the big ones, but at the small print one unless we KNOW the author is going to sell 1000 copies (paperback) then the publisher won't break even. So paying an advance to an unknown author...huge risk. So much emphasis now is put on "where's your marketing plan, what's your platform" and all that. The author has to be prepared to market themselves if they want to be published.

    The other thing is distribution. Supermarkets are a big player. The buyers for bookshops and supermarkets get AI - advance information sheets or tipsheets - and they make up their mind on whether to stock based on a quick glance at the blurb and cover. Celebrity name? You're in.

    Like I say, I'm still learning, but it's opened my eyes to a lot of things.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'm curious as to what that means...
     
  8. LuminousTyto
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    LuminousTyto Senior Member

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    As far as I know, it means that these publishers say what sort of book they want written and then she writes em. I'm probably wrong, lol.
     
  9. AutumnBarlow
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    AutumnBarlow New Member

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    LOL no, not quite. I'm not a ghostwriter though that would be interesting! I'm being really careful not to advertise or promote, so please excuse me if I seem vague. For one publisher I started as a proofreader. Now I am a managing editor for niche ebooks - so I work with the author, sort out their editing, cover, get it scheduled and in our system so it gets uploaded to the right places. I also do write ebooks now and then myself. For the other publisher I've just started there, basically getting a new fiction imprint off the ground - this publisher works in print and ebook and it's a huge learning curve for me.
     
  10. LuminousTyto
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    LuminousTyto Senior Member

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    Ah, okay. Yeah you were so vague before I could only guess, lol.
     
  11. AutumnBarlow
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    AutumnBarlow New Member

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    Yeah I'm new and feeling my way, and don't want to be kicked out by offering my opinion/advice/experience but overstepping the mark!

    I'm seeing fewer and fewer advances being offered when I look at other publishers. Even the big publishers seem to offer smaller advances than you'd think. I remember a survey by a writer's guild or union a few years back when it was shown that the majority of writers earned less than the minimum wage (UK), and most supplemented their writing with other activities - teaching, mentoring, journalism, whatever.
     
  12. LuminousTyto
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    LuminousTyto Senior Member

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    That's interesting. Do you remember when the advances offered by publishers started to decrease? I'm gonna make a good guess and say it started with the recession, no?
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    which recession?
     
  14. LuminousTyto
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    LuminousTyto Senior Member

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    I dunno, the latest? I don't know anything about the publishing market for creative writing, so don't ask me ,: \
     
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