How Much Can Romance Writers Earn?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

An agent with a well-known agency said recently that it is not unusual for a first-time romance author to get a $2,500 advance. Sometimes, she added, that advance can be upped to $5,000 or $10,000 (not including royalties).

Another romance author tells me she received a $7,000 advance for the first book, $8,000 for the second and $9,000 for the third title in a three-book deal with a major publisher.

Another signed a multi-book deal, with a mid-sized, up-and-coming publisher, which included a $2,000 advance per title.

For more detailed numbers, including royalties, check out this candid discussion of earnings from cozy mystery writer Ellery Adams.

To learn more about advances from the specific publishing houses, click here.

Of course, some of the biggest stars in the genre do very well. Here's a look at some recent deals which show a range of advances:

NYT bestselling author Madeline Hunter's next four historical romances, to Wendy McCurdy at Berkley, in a major deal ($500,000 and up) by Pam Hopkins at Hopkins Literary Associates

#1 NYT bestselling author Julia Quinn's three novels, to Lyssa Keusch at Harper, in a major deal ($500,000 and up), by Steven Axelrod of The Axelrod Agency

RITA-award winning author of Not Quite A Husband, Sherry Thomas's next three Victorian/Edwardian historical romances, moving to Wendy McCurdy at Berkley, in a good deal ($100,000 - $250,000), by Kristin Nelson at Nelson Literary Agency

NYT bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann's FUTURE PERFECT, to Shauna Summers at Ballantine, in a good deal ($100,000 - $250,000), by Steven Axelrod at The Axelrod Agency.

NYT and USA Today bestseller Sarah MacLean's next four Regency romances, to Carrie Feron at Avon, in a significant deal ($251,000 - $499,000), by Alyssa Eisner Henkin at Trident Media Group

2010 RITA nominee for The Virgin's Daughters Jeane Westin's THE QUEEN'S LADY SPY, to Ellen Edwards at NAL, in a nice deal ($1 - $49,000), by Danielle Egan-Miller at Browne & Miller Literary Associates.

Tracy Madison's three holiday books, to Gail Chasan at Silhouette Special Edition, in a nice deal ($1 - $49,000), by Michelle Grajkowski at 3 Seas Literary Agency.

Interesting, no?

UPDATE: I''ve taken the plunge and developed an author website that I actually have to pay for! I hope you'll start visiting me there; that's where I'll be blogging from now on! Come along and have a look! Click here.


Anonymous said...

Wow. The money really is all over the place.

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