Pittance – definition: a small portion; allowance, especially of money
The publishing industry is in the midst of radical changes as they compete with the increase in self publishing . I could site story after story of authors managing their own novels and being extremely successful. Some have been approached by the traditional houses; others not, but all made the decision to send their work out into the world.
A major factor in an author’s choice of a publishing route comes down to money – that necessary evil. Once you begin researching the actual costs involved and what may be your return for your book, the choice becomes clear. On average agent get 15%, book distribution 35% and book stores approximately 40% – this leaves the author with about 10% give or take. (**these are approximate figures**) Now as a famous author with global sales this figure may be alright, although I’m sure many of them have contractual clauses that differ. For the rest of us with a book or two these figures bring into sharp focus what we really want for our story and ourselves.
If you go into publishing with an idealistic view of millions of sales and making your fortune then sadly you will be disappointed – on the whole. ( Yes, I know there have been a few exceptions!) However, if your wish is to share your words, even with a few people, then you will accomplish your dream. I’m not saying being rich and famous isn’t something we would all love, but having practical expectations will give you the opportunity to relish the ‘success’ of your book even if it is a ‘close to home’ one.
For me knowing my stories will live beyond my life in libraries and hopefully handed down from generation to generation is reward enough.
What are your thoughts?