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Don't give up your day job ...

Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
edited November 30 in General Discussions

Terry Pratchett was unable to afford to give up his day job until his 4th top-selling novel.

https://www.orderofbooks.com/authors/terry-pratchett/

And never looked back.

https://www.itv.com/news/2015-03-12/terry-pratchett-sold-more-than-70-million-books/

Comments

  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    edited November 30

    Terry Pratchett was unable to afford to give up his day job until his 4th top-selling novel.

    TP was a brilliant comic fantasy writer! I'm surprised it took so long for him to give up his day job, but I guess being a professional author is not the easiest job to follow. Fortunately it worked for TP.

    Sir
    Terry Pratchett
    OBE
    Pratchett at the 2012 New York Comic Con
    Pratchett at the 2012 New York Comic Con
    BornTerence David John Pratchett
    28 April 1948
    BeaconsfieldBuckinghamshire, England
    Died12 March 2015 (aged 66)
    Broad ChalkeWiltshire, England
    OccupationNovelist
    GenreComic fantasy
    Notable worksDiscworld
    Good Omens
    Nation
    Notable awards
    SpouseLyn Purves
    (1968–2015; his death)[1]
    ChildrenRhianna Pratchett[1]
    MENU
    0:00
    Recorded May 2008 from the BBC Radio 4 programme Bookclub
    Website
    terrypratchett.co.uk

    Sir Terence David John Pratchett OBE (28 April 1948 – 12 March 2015) was an English author of fantasy novels, especially comical works. He is best known for his Discworld series of 41 novels.

    Pratchett's first novelThe Carpet People, was published in 1971. The first Discworld novel, The Colour of Magic, was published in 1983, after which Pratchett wrote an average of two books a year. His 2011 Discworld novel Snuff became the third-fastest-selling hardback adult-readership novel since records began in the UK, selling 55,000 copies in the first three days.The final Discworld novel, The Shepherd's Crown, was published in August 2015, five months after his death.

    Pratchett, with more than 85 million books sold worldwide in 37 languages

    TP called himself a humanist. I used to call myself a Christian humanist. Now I just say I'm a humanist.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    TP was a brilliant comic fantasy writer! I'm surprised it took so long for him to give up his day job, but I guess being a professional author is not the easiest job to follow. Fortunately it worked for TP.

    Royalties from trad publishers are not very high. He was one of, if not the best, observational commentators of the 20th and 21st centuries weaving almost everything in to his stories. He seemed to miss nothing that was going on in the world, or had gone on, and satirised it, and not always with humour, because some things are not funny.

    Even people who do not like fantasy should read him.

  • Royalties from trad publishers are not very high. 

    Well...yes and no.

    Typical royalties from a traditional publisher can range from 10% to 12% of the cover price of a book. This means that the author would get from $1.00 to $1.20 for every copy sold of a $10 book. This might not sound like all that much when compared to the markup a Lulu author can add to the price of a book. But there are a couple of important things to take into consideration.

    The first is the advance. Short for "advance against royalties," this is an upfront payment made to the author. Depending on the nature of the contract, this might be a flat amount paid upon signing the contract or it might be split into two or three payments, each contingent upon some stage of the work being completed. For instance, 1/3 might be paid upon signing, another 1/3 on receipt of the first draft MS and the final 1/3 upon completion of the final MS. Part of the idea of advances is that they help keep cover the author's living expenses while the book is being completed.

    "Advance against royalties" means that no royalties are paid to the author until the publisher recoups the original advance by retaining the royalties that are due. Once this happens, the author begins receiving additional payments. However, even if the book never sells a single copy, the advance is theirs to keep even if the book never sells a single copy. 

    Now, while the royalty per book from a traditional publisher may sound low, this can be made up for by sheer volume, which is the second point to consider. Your $15 Lulu book may include a 33% royalty of $5 to you, which sounds great...but if you only sell ten copies that gives you a profit of just $50. Which, of course, is nothing to sneeze at. On the other hand, the traditionally published book may offer only a 10% royalty---$1.50---for every copy of a similarly priced book, but because of the publisher's marketing, advertising and distribution resources they may sell, say, 1000 copies. That would be $1500 for you.

    To take just one example of what I am talking about, a book I worked on that came out in October, 2017 has averaged 35 copies sold every single day since. It is perfectly possible for a self-published book to do this, but I suspect that it would have to be a full-time job for the author, who would not only have to be able to invest the time to promoting and marketing his or her book but the resources to do so as well. A great many authors have been able to do this and do it with some considerable success, there is certainly no doubt about that. But, by the same token, they would have had to bear the losses if the book failed to do well. At least in the case of the traditionally published book all of the risks are borne by the publisher.
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Typical royalties from a traditional publisher can range from 10% to 12% of the cover price of a book. This means that the author would get from $1.00 to $1.20 for every copy sold of a $10 book. This might not sound like all that much when compared to the markup a Lulu author can add to the price of a book. But there are a couple of important things to take into consideration.

    According to what's on the internet, many publishes pay out on the Price Received, which means a percentage (which many places say are often between 8 and 10%) of what they sell a book for, not the retail value. Then an agent often takes around 15% of that 8 to 10%. Then there's always taxes.

    The first is the advance. Short for "advance against royalties," this is an upfront payment made to the author. Depending on the nature of the contract, this might be a flat amount paid upon signing the contract or it might be split into two or three payments, each contingent upon some stage of the work being completed. For instance, 1/3 might be paid upon signing, another 1/3 on receipt of the first draft MS and the final 1/3 upon completion of the final MS. Part of the idea of advances is that they help keep cover the author's living expenses while the book is being completed.

    It also ensures the writer fulfils their contract .


    Now, while the royalty per book from a traditional publisher may sound low, this can be made up for by sheer volume, which is the second point to consider. Your $15 Lulu book may include a 33% royalty of $5 to you, which sounds great...but if you only sell ten copies that gives you a profit of just $50. Which, of course, is nothing to sneeze at. On the other hand, the traditionally published book may offer only a 10% royalty---$1.50---for every copy of a similarly priced book, but because of the publisher's marketing, advertising and distribution resources they may sell, say, 1000 copies. That would be $1500 for you.

    Indeed, and I often say that to self-publishers too. What's better? £5 each earned from the sale of ten books, or £1 each from the sale of hundred books? In other-words, don't be greedy when adding profit to Cost. (Pod books are expensive enough to start with.)

    To take just one example of what I am talking about, a book I worked on that came out in October, 2017 has averaged 35 copies sold every single day since. It is perfectly possible for a self-published book to do this, but I suspect that it would have to be a full-time job for the author, who would not only have to be able to invest the time to promoting and marketing his or her book but the resources to do so as well. A great many authors have been able to do this and do it with some considerable success, there is certainly no doubt about that. But, by the same token, they would have had to bear the losses if the book failed to do well. At least in the case of the traditionally published book all of the risks are borne by the publisher.

    Indeed, but in a way, it is a puzzle why Mr Pratchett did not think he dared give up his day job until he was receiving the proceeds from four top selling novels!

  • Indeed, but in a way, it is a puzzle why Mr Pratchett did not think he dared give up his day job until he was receiving the proceeds from four top selling novels.

    You will have to attend a seance and ask him that.
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
  • SeamusSeamus Creator
    35 copies a day for a year? I dare to dream
    Tim Reinholt Author of Pow, a ski bum heist adventure
  • Reach a happy medium?
    When people say, "Strike a happy medium" it makes me think that spiritualists should never smile.
  • Seamus said:
    35 copies a day for a year? I dare to dream
    Don't we all. :)
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