First of all, hi. Once upon a time this was a real blog, not something I dropped into once or twice to plug a book release. Then real life took over and between keeping on top of the day job and trying to write I let this slide. New resolution: at least two blog posts a week, not including book release posts.
Today, I got an email regarding royalties. I need to say that a clause in my contract says that I am not allowed to discuss this matter in any detail, so I’m going to be deliberately vague. Not that I would have mentioned figures anyway; Mum always insists that talking about money is vulgar, which is a bizarrely middle class notion from a solidly working class woman but we all have our little idiosyncrasies, don’t we?
Anyway, I got my first ever royalty statement. I’ve been thinking about this for a little while as a matter of curiosity rather than anything else. I had convinced myself that I would never sell enough copies of my books to earn any royalties; I was satisfied with the advance payment (again, no details) from my publishers. I have been able to buy a few new things that I needed, with money left to tuck away in a little savings account. To be completely honest, I rather felt a little sorry for my publishers. The fools! They paid me advances that they would never make back! Ha! I get to see my name in eBook print, and they pay me for the privilege!
I think this only goes to show just how naive I am about the whole way this publishing thing works.
Today I got my royalties statement and even though it doesn’t tell me how many copies I sold, it did tell me that my publishers owed me royalty money. It’s not J K Rowling money, not by a long chalk, but it was a genuine surprise to discover that my very first book, the one that I think is my weakest, earned me so much. Well, so much to me. As I think we’ve established, I have no idea about things like this work. At all.
With some fairly simple maths, I think I can work out roughly how many copies of the book I sold and again, I’m amazed. This, from what I think is my weakest book? My word!
Best of all, my publisher said that the next time I’m due royalties, the amount will be more!
I think flabbergasted is probably the best word to describe me right now. It’s not huge sums of money at all but to me, who never expected to earn anything from them at all, it’s an absolute fortune.