How can publishing survive if most books are not published?

First, publishers survive a handful of hits. 50 shades of gray here or a lost girl who makes up many low-order books that do not sell well. This is similar to movie studio survival from a few massive box office products to compensate for the cost of movies that do not earn what was expected in the box office. In addition, the publisher makes money before the author does. While a distributor and dealer e.g. A publisher receives 65% of the sales price (which can go up to 75%) 25% of the author’s 10%.

When an article talks about how a big step forward for a debut author and / or a famous author does not make money, it does not mean that the publisher does not make money. (Here is a blog post that is an example of Lena Dunham’s enormous demands.) In fact, publishers can make high demands on books that are known to be an unused way to pay a really higher royalty.

Let us take our example above. If My Big Literary Novel sold 20,000 copies, the author still has not recovered the advance, but the press will receive $ 90,000 (35% of the cover price minus the 50,000 advance). Of course, the press must also pay for the printing costs, any marketing costs or the money spent on the cover image before it can even pay the employees who work on the book … the idea.


Here’s an example: Author von The author writes My Big Literary Novel and Big Publishing House Press costs him $ 50,000. The cover price of the book is $ 20 and his royalty is 10%. (In reality, it would be more than ~ $ 25 bound at 10-15%, followed by ~ $ 15 at 7-10% paperback, but I simplify it.) If a publisher sells 10,000 copies of a book, total sales are $ 200,000, and the author earned $ 20,000 in royalties … except that he has already paid $ 50,000, so he actually has a negative $ 30,000. He also does not have to pay anyone back, the publisher assumes losses. But if 25,000 copies of the book were sold, the author would get the advance back, and by copying 25,000 one, he began earning $ 2 per copy. Sold book.


The answer is probably not surprising … it really depends. The first thing writers need to understand is that book sales – as progress – are everywhere. This applies even to individual authors. It is not unheard of for an author to get about the same grades for the first three novels, but still get them to sell 10k, 100k and 10k. The release is full of luck, timing and unpredictable trends. (I mean coloring books for adults? Really?) And even then, publishers offer dramatically different amounts of support and marketing, even for books published with the same edition.

In addition to this classification, most fiction books published by a traditional publisher earn 500-500,000 sales. Sometimes less, sometimes more.

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