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Work For Hire is a Bad Ideal

Authors should never write as “Work For Hire” because it demeans their aesthetic and demands they are nothing more than ordinary laborers with no investment in the future profitability of the project.

It is hard to persuade new writers away from the “Work For Hire” carrot because the initial, solitary, payment can be more immediately enticing than lower upfront money against a future royalty percentage.

If you get royalties you are in partnership with your publisher.  If you are “Work For Hire” you’re used up when you’re done writing.

Publishers live to exploit that hungry author desire for fast money now — and in the process of the “Work For Hire” hiring — the author not only loses a potential profit bonanza, but also sells out their self-respect, self-worth, and fellow authors.

Royalty Advances and the Uncertain Author

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%.

Continue reading → Royalty Advances and the Uncertain Author