No. of new Royalty Statements in Post: 2
Oops, time for a reality check. Forget the Amazon rankings that suddenly zoom up to 2,000 then back down to 50,000 in the next hour, forget the monitoring of books out of local bookshop and checking the library computer for stock movement, this is the bottom line.
The royalty statement: the authorly dream of the twice-yearly summing-up with cheque attached for doing bugger all except 'having written' isn't such a bunch of cherries.
Under the Amount Due column my bottom lines are:
£-1,069.07 for book 1
£-1,926.90 for book 2
sounds a bit like my bank statement. My editor's long, long silence begins to make sense.
The sales of book 1 in year 1 were 5,300
In year 2 20,080
The sales of book 2 in year 1 were 3,084
In year 2, 1,692
Was book 2 THAT bad??
Well, no, it wasn't that. Whilst I could go around (as I just did there) and say my first novel sold over 25,000 copies and be legal, the truth is the huge difference in numbers is because 20,000 of Book 1 were sold to a remainders store. This isn't as depressing as it first sounded to me when my agent rang me with the cheery news that the publishers wanted to remainder my first novel. Surely the phone call every author dreads (and, for sure, I did go around for a few days going I'm pulp). This is because there weren't 20,000 copies festering away in the warehouse. The first print run was for 7,500 copies. Finito. What happens is those cheapie bookstores you see in the high street selling books at big discounts do a reprint deal with the publisher. They do a reprint at bargain basement price (I see I earned £440.00 for those 20,000 copies). And, as my agent explained, this early on in my career (ha!) another 20,000 books out there was no bad thing. I also got another 20 free copies and noted they'd changed the lettering from red embossed to gold embossed.
So, that's it. Book 2 had 1 export sale this year (earning £0.36) (that must have been D in Tenerife, then, thanks D). And I haven't given up hope on them entirely, the first foreign editions come out in Russia this August, and so am waiting eagerly by the letterbox for those.
Actually, these figures aren't too bad for first novels with zero promotion budgets. It's really, really hard to get facts and figures out of authors, they're more cagey about print runs than advances. From what I can gather the average paperback first print run for a new author is 4,000 - 5,000. These zoom up considerably if you get the supermarket endorsement; which, with this type of fiction, is what my publishers were hoping for and sadly didn't happen. As with everything else these days, Tesco rules.
Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.