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!