How Much Can You Make When Using a Publishing House?
Should your first manuscript be picked up by a traditional publisher, you’ll find that it's pretty standard to get a deal in the region of:
- An advance of between £3-7k
- A percentage of any book sales between 6-10%
- A percentage of any eBook sales between 20-30%
This would mean that in the event that you managed to get picked up by a publisher and sell 5000 of your books at a price of £10, you're going to get a 6-10% share of £50k, so between £3000-5000. The problem is, selling that many books is not an easy thing to do, while even that level of earnings from book and ebook sales will come over the lifetime of the book rather than in a short amount of time.
A conservative estimate for a first-time author may be closer to 2000 copies, so using the sums above, you're looking at a 6-10% share of £20k, which works out at something between £1200-2000. That doesn't sound all that great does it? Plus, when you take out taxes on the advance you were given, and costs for the editor, graphic designer, and marketing specialist that the publishing house may well bill you for, you're not actually left with much of that, especially when you consider how long it likely took you to write.