Money is money is money. Small royalties aside, if you are making money as an author then kudos to you, my friend. Do you want to know a good way to make more money as an author? Be a celebrity author.
There has been a minor blogging furor over reports that American comedian Sarah Silverman is to receive an advance of $2.5 million dollars while Jerry Seinfeld’s book proposal has received bids of $7 to $8 million dollars (I thought the publishing industry was struggling?). Moonrat breaks the number’s down for you – "let’s pretend the royalties are a flat 15% and cut out any escalator. Let’s also assume the book is $24.95. Seems fair, right? That means Jerry Seinfeld will earn back $3.74 toward his advance with each copy purchased by a consumer. That means that for his advance to earn out, he’d have to sell 1,871,658 copies of his book in the first year for the advance to earn out."
The CEO of Trident Media (Silverman and Seinfeld are their clients) has responded to the comments saying "[How is it any different] if you’re talking about a name-brand fiction author? Do you think it’s wrong for a publisher to spend a lot of money on Dan Brown or John Grisham or James Patterson? It’s the same thing".
Not really Mr CEO. Dan Brown and friends are writers that are celebrities. Not the other way round (especially when most celebrities that are "writers" have a handy-dandy ghostwriter to help them out). Why don’t they increase author royalties rather than the advances? Does the money spent on books about Seinfeld give publishers a chance to fund an unknown writer? Any ghostwriters (or published authors) out there want to shed a bit of light on this?
In other news, Nathan Bransford is away from his blog at the moment, but he has a bevy of guest bloggers with some really interesting things to say. Go and check it out.