Mar 29, 2010

Author Royalties

By: Rebecca Irvine

There seems to be a great deal of misapprehension regarding author royalties. Have you ever had a friend or family member (or even a complete stranger) say to you, "You must really enjoy all the extra income you are getting from publishing a book"? Honestly, it is hard not to laugh at this comment now that I know the truth. I admit to being misinformed myself before actually getting published, but I am grateful I did not write for the sole effort of trying to make extra money.

Royalties, especially from publishing a book for a niche market (i.e., LDS Church members), are quite small. Generally, the amount an author earns on a book is determined by how large of a run the publisher orders (3,000 to 5,000, if lucky) and the percent per book sold as agreed upon in the contact (5% to 10% is average). Of course there are a lot more details that go into determining author royalties. There is a good detailed explanation on this site.

In an effort to help clarify how much authors who write for the LDS market earn I have posted an author royalty survey. If you have published a book, please take a minute to answer a few quick questions about royalties. All results are completely anonymous. Results will be made completely public on my personal blog in about a month.

Click here to take survey

PS: If you have not yet read the results of the LDS Book Reader Survey about book purchasing habits of LDS Church members, be sure to give it a once over. Here's the link. Thanks to all those who participated in that study!


  1. thanks for the detailed information. This is good to know!

  2. Then you all must write for the fun,since there is little money being made. I am grateful that there are so many LDS authors willing to share their talents.

  3. yeah, we figured with Aprilynne once that she might make $5.00/hour. after writing and rewriting and editing...that amount has increased, but yeah...writers write because they love it.


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