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Old 11-04-2011, 12:23 AM   #1
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Do E-publishers pay an advance?

I searched through the boards but couldn't find the answer to this. While I'm aware most authors (especially newly published ones) won't receive much upfront, I was curious as to whether e-pubs pay any advance at all...

Does anyone know the answer to this?
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Old 11-04-2011, 02:22 AM   #2
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From dinking around on Duotrope and hearing anecdotal accounts it seems most do not. I'm sure there's a small press out there that does if you do enough research but it's probably not high enough to be worth considering over other factors.
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Old 11-04-2011, 02:24 AM   #3
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Thanks, J Tanner. That's kind of what I'm thinking as I can only find info on royalties, but not advances.
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Old 11-04-2011, 02:25 AM   #4
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A few pay a modest advance (like $100), one or two pay a substantial advance on a case by case basis (like when reprinted in a well-known author, or for a best seller).
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Old 11-04-2011, 02:31 AM   #5
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Loose Id pay an advance, but only for novels of 55-70k words. That's the only epublisher I've heard of offering advances. Not that it makes any difference in the end; you still have to earn out. I'd rather just have the royalties paid after the book's published.
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Old 11-04-2011, 02:54 AM   #6
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I certainly would not expect any royalties from a small press and even the big publishers are giving them out less and less these days. A royalty is the publisher placing a bet on how well they think your novel will sell (they are hoping it will sell enough so they can reclaim the money they bet plus a sizeable amount on top of that) and in this economy they are wary of taking that risk. As scarlet says, better to have the royalties for both parties - that way no one loses out if sales are bad.
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Old 11-04-2011, 03:12 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by areteus View Post
I certainly would not expect any royalties from a small press and even the big publishers are giving them out less and less these days. A royalty is the publisher placing a bet on how well they think your novel will sell (they are hoping it will sell enough so they can reclaim the money they bet plus a sizeable amount on top of that) and in this economy they are wary of taking that risk. As scarlet says, better to have the royalties for both parties - that way no one loses out if sales are bad.
I think you're confusing royalties with an advance. An advance is an advance against royalties. You have to earn out the advance before you receive royalties.

Samhain used to offer an advance, but they don't any longer. It was optional and apparently the majority opted NOT to receive one.
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Old 11-04-2011, 05:14 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Christyp View Post
I searched through the boards but couldn't find the answer to this. While I'm aware most authors (especially newly published ones) won't receive much upfront, I was curious as to whether e-pubs pay any advance at all...

Does anyone know the answer to this?
The only ones I can think of that pay an advance are Loose Id (as stated previously) and Noble Romance (although I'm not sure if this has gone away ).

Also, keep in mind that one of the reasons most epubs don't pay advances is that royalties are usually paid either monthly or quarterly. In other words, you're getting your money a lot sooner, so advancing you in November for royalties that might be paid in January isn't worth the hassle.
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Old 11-04-2011, 09:16 PM   #9
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My experience with my e-publisher is that they don't pay advances. They do, however, pay monthly royalties, which is paid to me via Paypal and I get them pretty promptly.
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Old 11-04-2011, 09:29 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by scarletpeaches View Post
Loose Id pay an advance, but only for novels of 55-70k words. That's the only epublisher I've heard of offering advances. Not that it makes any difference in the end; you still have to earn out. I'd rather just have the royalties paid after the book's published.
I don't recall Loose Id ever offering me an advance? Samhain has it as an option but given that I make it back in the first check, I don't bother.
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Old 11-04-2011, 09:43 PM   #11
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As others have said, Samhain have stopped offering advances. Loose Id only give them for books within a certain word count limit (for some reason).
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Old 11-04-2011, 09:54 PM   #12
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I've written them some at that length, maybe it was offered and I forgot, or they did....
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Old 11-04-2011, 10:14 PM   #13
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I remember Angela James (before she left) saying that the advance at Samhain had been discontinued because most authors opted to only get royalties.

I don't expect an advance with e-publishers. Those offered are usually modest, and with the payment schedules of most epubs, you aren't waiting long for a check.
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I think you're confusing royalties with an advance. An advance is an advance against royalties. You have to earn out the advance before you receive royalties.

Samhain used to offer an advance, but they don't any longer. It was optional and apparently the majority opted NOT to receive one.
In my brain I wrote Advance but somehow that got turned into royalties in the written form... *I* knew what I meant to say, you lot should be psychic enough to know it too
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:15 PM   #15
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The more I read the more I think the payment schedules are way better with e-pubs than the whole advance thing with print pubs.

I posed the same question over at WD and received a "why are you bothering with e-pubs? Just pub yourself." from a member who had been banned from here. I guess I knew someone would eventually pose that question to me...
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:18 PM   #16
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Monthly is nice. But the average ebook is still selling maybe 1-2000 copies total.
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Old 11-05-2011, 02:15 AM   #17
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Dreamspinner gives an advance on novels. $500 - $1 000, I think.
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Old 11-05-2011, 02:21 AM   #18
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Monthly is nice. But the average ebook is still selling maybe 1-2000 copies total.
There is the tradeoff of no shelf life on the books, though. No returns and the books can be available for years to come. When you look at the low advances for some new authors at some houses, amounts held against returns, and all the other factors, 2K copies at 35% to 40% cover can put them ahead.

Any book is a crapshoot. Too many variables to really say how things will pan out.
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Old 11-05-2011, 03:38 AM   #19
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Some of the variables have pretty clear effects. Like Random House versus Club Lighthouse.
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:02 AM   #20
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Loose ID don't still pay an advance do they? And Dreamspinner is doing that and the authors earn it out?
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Old 03-24-2012, 03:46 PM   #21
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I assume the authors at DSP earn out. I think they give the smaller advances to unproven authors, and then when you've sold well for a couple books they bump you to the bigger advance. Depending on timing, I generally earn out in the second quarter after release, and with the long tail on e-books, I assume that almost everyone earns out sooner or later...
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