Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles - Royalty, Shouldn't that Come with a Tiara?

I've told you all how I feel and where I'm at with writing "The Novel," specifically burned-out and not that interested anymore. I'm just going to write about what I feel like writing about and read and review what I want to read and review and see what the future holds.

So. Two extreme opposite e-mails came last week. One, my very, very, very good friend from my critique group who has clawed, edited, wept, nose-to-the-grindstone worked-for-it got her first royalty check. Royalty checks are lump sums of the author's portion of the contracted percentage of book cover price. I think most companies send one out quarterly. I believe she gets 7% from each book sold. An advance comes out of the perceived royalties. My friend went with a small company with a small advance.

The day before she got her royalty check she received a check for an article she wrote. Now, an article, no matter how detailed, how fact-filled, how carefully written, probably took her 1/10,000th of what she put into her book. An article takes days, maybe weeks. The novel took years. I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that I probably invested 300 hours in her novel. Me. I critiqued it, suggested, edited, led cheers, discussed the pros and cons of where to attempt to sell her novel and built her back up rejection after rejection. Once she had interest, her publisher wanted her to cut 5,000 words, I was there for that, then came the marketing push. Yep. So if I spent 300 hours with her book, I know she invested thousands. This is a woman who doesn't scan words when she reads. Trust me, she's particular about each word.

Bottom line. Her royalty check was two dollars less than her check for her article. Really. In case you actually still have a "I want to be a WEALTHY or FULL TIME novelist someday" bubble, sorry I just popped it.

Flip sided e-mail tomorrow.