Novel Writers - Salary

 By: John Halasz
A novel writer's salary varies greatly. If you intend to pursue a career as a novel writer, understand that it requires a great deal of patience and learning as well as a business sense. Most first-time novel writers either do not complete their novel or end up selling their novel for a meager amount of money in order to see it published. If you have just completed your first novel or intend to write and sell a novel, read the following sections to become more prepared at monetizing your novel.

A Novel writer's salary is paid in one of the following ways. They either receive a royalty, which is a percentage of the price for which each copy sells or they earn a predetermined flat fee regardless of the number of copies sold. The royalty is decided when the writer and the publisher draw a contract and varies greatly based on the publisher and the popularity of the writer. However, the most common figures are about10 percent of the sales. In 2010, The New York Times reported that the average advance for a novel is $30,000. In order to receive any commissions, the novelist must first recoup the advance.

In the past, publishers decided the royalty based on the actual retail price of a copy. However, these days, the novel writer's salary is a royalty based on the net price at which the books are sold to bookstores, which is the discounted rate. Though the publisher has the final say, the novel writer's salary can be increased through successful negotiation.

Regardless of a novel writer's experience and reputation, he or she will earn a royalty based on the number of copies sold. As such, if you are a first timer and the publishers are offering a low advance and a fair royalty, there is no need to hesitate. Remember that a first timer is always a risk for publishers and that the advance is only a minor part of the royalty.

A novel writer's salary may also be paid as a flat fee. This mode of payment is common when you are one among several writers who are writing for a series, if you are working on a licensed character, or if you are writing a TV tie-in novel. While royalties can keep you financially safe for a very long time, a single, flat chunk of fees can come in handy at times.
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