Book royalties from computer book publishers to authors have precipitously diminished over the last decade and so have “cash advances” against those future royalties.
Ten years ago, a first time author could expect to get at least a $15,000.00 USD advance against royalties with royalties starting at 8% and rising to 12% or even 15%.
Today, first time computer book authors, and second time authors — and even third and fourth time authors — can expect to only get around $6,000.00-$8,000.00 USD as a royalties advance and a percentage cut ranging from 4% to 8% and, perhaps, 10% if they’re lucky and the publisher wants the book.
What caused this downturn in publishing advances and payments to writers?
Do we need more mainstream publishers? I can think of at least 12 mainline publishers who were selling beautiful books a decade ago — and those houses are now either out-of-business or they were swallowed whole by an established conglomerate and the spirit of beauty and the verve to do unique books was pressed out of them.
I know a lot of excellent book authors who preferred to retire from writing than to swallow the humiliation of a 50% cut in royalties and advances.
Even with the reduction in publishers eager to buy your books, what then, do we make of the value current day publishers invest in authors when money and advances are so drastically lower now than they were ten years ago?
Are publishers trying to make a brighter dime by lowballing authors and exploiting the artist ego — and everyone’s innate sense of desperation — just to get a hardcopy book published today?
Has electronic publishing forever pushed down the price of authoring traditional paper books?
Will computer book authors ever regain the advances lost over the last decade of publishing?