Traditional Publisher Survey

Show Me the Money!

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What do the various romance (and YA) publishers pay? Here’s the best info I’ve gleaned from a dozen years of surveying authors who were generous enough to volunteer their figures. Royalty percentages are based on cover price unless otherwise noted and are for U.S. retail sales. Earnout figures include all earnings for a book, including the advance, royalties, and any subsidiary sales. Publishers are only included if I had at least three responses for that publisher. Similarly, n/a means that specific information wasn’t available. Ranges for advances and earnouts are provided to control for the skewing that one or two outliers might cause, as are median figures. Because of the rapidly-changing publishing climate, only titles released in the year 2005 or later are included. In addition, I excluded any publisher for which I had no data more recent than 2010. I make no claim to statistical significance–I simply present what I’ve received, operating on the assumption that some information is far better than none at all.

………………………………………………………………………………………..# of titles included

Amazon Publishing (all imprints)………………………………………………………..8
Average advance: $18,375 Median: $10,500
Advance range: $1000 – $40,000
Standard print royalty: 7-10% Electronic: 30-40% (net)
Average earn-out: $37,000 Median: $30,000 Range: $8,000 – $73,000

Avon/HarperCollins……………………………………………………………………………53
Average advance (first book): $11,900  Median: $7000
Average advance (subsequent books): $30,500  Median: $16,000
Advance range: $5000 – $150,000
Standard print royalty: 8%  Electronic: 25% (net)
Average earn-out: $37,400  Median: $29,000  Range: $11,000 – $68,000

Avon Impulse (e-first)………………………………………………………………………….6
Average advance: $0
Standard print royalty: 8% Electronic: 25-50% (net)
Average earn-out: $11,800 Median: $6,400 Range: $1200 – $34,000

Baker/Revell……………………………………………………………………………………….17
Average advance: $9300  Median: $10,000
Advance range: $6700 – $10,000
Standard print royalty: 8-17% (net) Electronic: 25-50% (net)
Average earn-out: n/a

Ballantine………………………………………………………………………………………….23
Average advance (first book): $30,000  Median: $32,500
Average advance (subsequent books): $156,000  Median: $175,000
Advance range: $15,000 – $275,000
Standard print royalty: 8% Electronic: 25% (net)
Average earn-out: $65,000 Median: $83,000 Range: $25,000 – $95,000

Bantam/Dell……………………………………………………………………………………….12
Average advance: $21,250 Median: $17,500
Advance range: $10,000 – $40,000
Standard print royalty: 8% Electronic: 25% (net)
Average earn-out: n/a

Belle/Bell Bridge Books……………………………………………………………………9
Average advance: $340 Median: $300
Standard print royalty: 8% Electronic: 40% (net)
Average earn-out: $10,100 Median: $7,600

Berkley/Jove………………………………………………………………………………………62
Average advance (first book): $9250  Median: $7500
Average advance (subsequent books): $19,400  Median: $12,500
Advance range: $4000 – $200,000
Standard print royalty: 6% – 8% Electronic: 15% (cover) – 25% (net)
Average earn-out: $26,000  Median: $17,000  Range: $5500 – $56,000

Big World Network (e-only) …………………………………………………………………….3
Average advance: none
Standard electronic royalty: 60 – 70% (net)
Average earn-out: $200  Median: $150

Carina (Harlequin e-first)……………………………………………………………………….13
Average advance: none
Standard electronic royalty: 30-40% (net)
Average earn-out: $1675 Median: $1225 Range: $140 – $3800

Cedar Fort (e-first)………………………………………………………………………………….4
Average advance: $0
Standard print royalty: 10% Electronic: 25%
Average earn-out: $2100 Median: $1550

Crimson (e-first) (F+W Media)………………………………………………………………4
Average advance: none
Standard electronic royalty: 35% (net)
Average earn-out: $700 Median: $500

Dutton/Penguin/Signet/NAL……………………………………………………………………32
Average advance (first book): $10,000  Median: $10,000
Average advance (subsequent books): $17,800 Median: $10,000
Advance range: $6000 – $110,000
Standard print royalty: 7.5 – 8% Electronic: 25% (net)
Average earn-out: n/a

Ellora’s Cave……………………………………………………………………………………….50
Average advance: none
Standard print royalty: 7.5% Electronic 40% onsite 40% (net) elsewhere
Average earn-out: $3100  Median: $2300  Range: $250 – $14,000

Entangled……………………………………………………………………………………………21
Average advance: $100 Median: $0 Range: $0 – $1,000
Standard print royalty: 9% Electronic 40% onsite 40% (net) elsewhere
Average earn-out: $48,000 Median: $2800 Range: $250 – $510,000

Grand Central Publishing (Warner/Hachette) ……………………………………….57
Average advance (first book): $7250  Median: $6000
Average advance (subsequent books): $17,500  Median: $15,000
Advance range: $5000 – $75,000
Standard print royalty: 8%
Average earn-out: $29,500 Median: $18,000 Range: $8300 – $100,000

Harlequin American…………………………………………………………………………..20
Average advance (first book): $4300 Median: $4500
Average advance (subsequent books): $5100 Median: $5000
Advance range: $4000 – $8500
Standard print royalty: 6% Electronic: 3% (cover) – 20% (net)
Average earn-out: $5800 Median: $5000 Range: $4500 – $10,100

Harlequin Blaze………………………………………………………………………………..17
Average advance (first book): $4300 Median: $4000
Average advance (subsequent books): $4600 Median: $4250
Advance range: $4000 – $6000
Standard print royalty: 6% Electronic: 3% (cover) – 20% (net)
Average earn-out: n/a

Harlequin Intrigue……………………………………………………………………………..19
Average advance (first book): $3750 Median: $3750
Average advance (subsequent books): $4850 Median: $4500
Advance range: $3500 – $10,000
Standard print royalty: 6% Electronic: 3% (cover) – 20% (net)
Average earn-out: $12,300 Median: $12,200 Range: $8400 – $18,500

Harlequin Mills & Boon (Incl. Medical) ……………………………………………….21
Average advance (first book): $3800  Median: $4000
Average advance (subsequent books): $4200  Median: $4000
Advance range: $2000 – $5000
Standard print royalty: 6%  Electronic: 6% (20%net)
Average earn-out: n/a

Harlequin Nocturne……………………………………………………………………………..10
Average advance: $6300  Median: $62500
Advance range: $6000 – $8000
Standard print royalty: 6%  Electronic 20% (net)
Average earn-out: n/a

Harlequin Nocturne (Bites)…………………………………………………………………..5
Average advance: $1000  Median: $1000
Standard print royalty: 6%  Electronic 20%
Average earn-out: $1000  Median: $1000

Harlequin Presents……………………………………………………………………………..9
Average advance: $2500 Median: $2500
Standard print royalty: 6% Electronic: 20% (net)
Average earn-out: $12,300 Median: $12,100 Range: $6600 – $17,200

Harlequin Romance……………………………………………………………………………..13
Average advance (first book): $3100  Median: $2400
Advance range: $2000 – $7000
Standard print royalty: 6% Electronic: 20% (net)
Average earn-out: $9400 Median: $8800 Range: $7000 – $12,800

Harlequin Romantic Suspense ……………………………………………………………..5
Average advance: $4300 Median: $4000
Advance range: $4000 – $5000
Standard print royalty: 6% Electronic 20% (net)
Average earn-out: $7100 Median: $7200 Range: $4800 – $9100

Harlequin Superromance……………………………………………………………………..29
Average advance (first book): $4600 Median: $5000
Average advance (subsequent books): $5200 Median: $5000
Advance range: $4000 – $6000
Standard print royalty: 6% Electronic: 20% (net)
Average earn-out: $10,100 Median: $9400 Range: $5,000 – $15,500

HQN……………………………………………………………………………………………………13
Average advance: $18,800  Median: $20,000
Advance range: $5000 – $55,000
Standard print royalty: 8%  Electronic: 25% (net)
Average earn-out: n/a

Harper Teen/Baler + Bray………………………………………………………………………9
Average advance: $54,000 Median: $57,500
Advance range: $20,000 – $80,000
Standard print royalty: 6% trade 10% hc Electronic: 25% (net)
Average earn-out: n/a

Kensington/Lyrical (e-only)………………………………………………………………….4
Average advance: none
Standard electronic royalty: 40% (net)
Average earn-out: $500 Median: $100

Kensington/Zebra……………………………………………………………………………….65
Average advance (first book): $3200  Median: $3000
Average advance (subsequent books): $10,200 Median: $4000
Advance range: $2000 – $60,000
Standard print royalty: 6 – 8%  Electronic: 25% (net)
Average earn-out: $8100 Median: $5100 Range: $4000 – $17,800

Loose Id………………………………………………………………………………………………..25
Average advance: none
Standard print royalty: 7%  Electronic: 35%
Average earn-out: $2200  Median: $1450  Range: $200 – $9000

Love Inspired ………………………………………………………………………………………….55
Average advance (first book): $4000  Median: $4000
Average advance (subsequent books): $6250  Median: $6500
Advance range: $4000 – $9500
Standard print royalty: 6% Electronic: 20% (net)
Average earn-out: $11,100 Median: $10,750 Range: $6700 – $18,100

Loveswept (Random House, e-only)…………………………………………………………………8
Average advance: $2600 Median: $2500
Standard electronic royalty: 25% (net)
Average earn-out: $3000 Median: $2700

MIRA………………………………………………………………………………………………………..6
Average advance: $16,250 Median: $16,250
Advance range: $15,000 – $17,500
Standard print royalty: 8%  Electronic: 8%
Average earn-out: n/a

Pocket……………………………………………………………………………………………………..16
Average advance (first book): $11,700 Median: $5000
Average advance (subsequent books): $15,900 Median: $10,000
Advance range: $5000 – $50,000
Standard print royalty: 8 – 10% Electronic: 25% (net)
Average earn-out: $29,650 Median: $25,000 Range: $13,500 – $50,000

Random House/Delacorte (YA)…………………………………………………………………….7
Average advance (first book): $28,000  Median: $18,000
Average advance (subsequent books):  $90,000  Median: $92,500
Advance range: $15,000 – $125,000
Standard print royalty: 6 – 10%
Average earn-out: $110,000  Median:  $128,000

St. Martin’s Press…………………………………………………………………………………….33
Average advance (first book): $23,300 Median: $13,750
Average advance (subsequent books): $27,200 Median: $17,500
Advance range: $7500 – $75,000
Standard print royalty: 7.5-10% Electronic: 25% (net)
Average earn-out:  n/a

Samhain………………………………………………………………………………………………60
Average advance: $60  Median: $0
Advance range: $0 – $500
Standard print royalty: 8 – 15%  Electronic: 40% onsite 30% elsewhere
Average earn-out: $11,400 Median: $3700 Range: $50 – $103,000

Simon & Schuster Pulse/McElderry/UK (YA)……………………………………………..7
Average advance: $17,000  Median: $22,000
Advance range: $10,000 – $25,000
Standard print royalty: 6%mm 7% t 10%hc
Average earn-out: n/a

Siren Bookstrand…………………………………………………………………………………….26
Average advance: none
Standard print royalty: 6%  Electronic: 40% onsite 50%(net) elsewhere
Average earn-out: $5500  Median: $1700  Range: $100 – $24,000

Sourcebooks………………………………………………………………………………………..49
Average advance (first book): $2100 Median: $1600
Average advance (subsequent books): $4100  Median: $1700
Advance range: $1000 – $17,500
Standard print royalty: 6-8%  Electronic: 8-25% (net)
Average earn-out: n/a

Tor/Forge…………………………………………………………………………………………….20
Average advance (first book): $10,600 Median: $8,000
Average advance (subsequent books): $13,600  Median: $14,000
Advance range: $7500 – $20,000
Standard print royalty: 8%
Average earn-out: n/a

Wild Rose Press………………………………………………………………………………………21
Average advance: none
Standard print royalty: 7%  Electronic: 35% onsite 35% (net) elsewhere
Average earn-out: $3500  Median: $230  Range: $50 – 65,000

© 2001 – 2015 by Brenda Hiatt  (last update: 4/15)

I very much want to keep this information current for future reference.  Anyone willing to share their info (anonymously!) please fill in the form HERE. Indie-pubbed authors, please click the pull-down tab above for a separate survey. Huge thanks to all of the authors who have been willing to share their own, private financial data for the benefit of all writers!!

What I specifically need for each book:

Publisher/line
Year (or projected year) of release
Which book it is of yours/for that publisher (1st, 5th, etc.)
Advance per book (if any)
Standard royalty percentage (for regular print sales AND for ebook sales)
Total earnout to date (INCLUDING advance)
Title acronym with month/year of release (if known)

As always, everything will be kept TOTALLY confidential. With my new survey forms, I never even see author names.

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