• How much money an author can make by writing and publishing a book varies widely. Factors include the type of publishing model (self-publishing or traditional publishing house), fees and book sales.


    An advance is the amount of money a publisher pays to an author that will be subtracted from future royalties. The average book advance is approximately $30,000, though some celebrities have received seven-figure advances.


    Royalties are the money an author makes off of each book sale. According to Cader Books, royalties are generally 6 to 10 percent on mass market paperback retail prices. The average mass market paperback is $7.99 in the United States.

    Literary Agents

    Literary agents receive a commission on each book sold. On average, the commission is 15 percent.


    Author J.K. Rowling became the first billionaire author with her children's book series about a young wizard named Harry Potter.


    Self-publishing or publishing-on-demand companies offer packages that range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. There are upfront fees and no advances to pay back, but the author has to spend more of her own time and money on marketing.


    The New York Times: About that Book Advance...

    Cader Books

    Forbes: J.K. Rowling and the Billion-Dollar Empire

    More Information:


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