The money of writing

Today, I was doing some paperwork to send to home office, when I noticed what seemed like discrepancies. Authors usually get advances in three segments — upon signing the contract, upon delivery of the manuscript, and upon publication – and I was arranging advances and royalty payments for the end of the year, as was told to do by NFEditor. (We send London the information, but they deal with the actual payments.) The ‘discrepancy’ was that some authors’ advances and royalties were going into two different bank accounts. I also noticed that there were a lot more authors listed in our accounts than we seem to have books for.

As NFEditor is absolutely rubbish with any sort of paperwork, I asked Boobs. She said she didn’t know what I was talking about, ask home office. As usual, NFEditor heard a conversation that she wasn’t a part of and decided to join in, but this time it was a good thing that she was nosey because she had the answer.

Some authors will have more than one bank account for personal reasons, so they have us put different amounts in different accounts. And we also have more authors than books, because we may still be paying royalties well after the books are out of print. NFEditor said that because it takes so long to sort out royalties, some authors are being paid a year or two behind publication date.

To this Boobs added, ‘A lot of first time authors want to quit their day-job as soon as they get their first book published, and we seriously advise against this.’ She said that she knew an author with a different publisher that had four books in print and an overseas rights deal, but was still stocking shelves at the Co-Op because it takes so long to get paid.

Lesson learned. Don’t write books if you want to get rich quick.


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