I Was Paid £12,500 to Write My Book. Here’s Why I’m Revealing That

From The Guardian:

I was paid a £12,500 advance to write my book, Open Up. Sharing this publicly, even as the author of a book about our emotional relationship with money, was initially petrifying, but I ended up revealing it in the book – it’s there on page 17. When I got the book deal, I’d excitedly tell people and they’d inevitably ask: “Did you get an advance?” And like most chats about money, the conversation would abruptly stop there.

I worried about telling people the amount for so many reasons. I thought it would compromise my publisher or my agent. I worried it would compromise the book, and that people would think: “Oh, that’s not a large amount, it can’t be very good.” The only book deals we hear about are the six-figure ones, and they can be misleading; a headline-grabbing “£100,000 four-book deal” is really only £25,000 a book, and if a book takes a year to write, that pays the author a below-average salary.

We’re fascinated by what other people earn not only because we’re nosey, but because the more we know about what other people earn, the more we understand our own circumstances. You can’t tell if you’re being under- or overpaid without knowing what other people in your industry earn. Since my book was published, two authors have been in touch to say: “Thanks for sharing your advance. I thought my publishers were low-balling me.”

. . . .

I am fed up with navigating a culture that obsesses over who has what but discourages any conversation about our own finances, which was why I printed my advance. Others are starting to do the same, and not only through anonymous money diaries. Last week, blogger Alex Stedman behind the Frugality revealed that she pays herself an annual salary of £30,000. (“I am 35 years old. I am the breadwinner. And I am the richest I have ever been,” she wrote.) Earlier this month, podcaster Aminatou Sou divulged her 2018 salary in an interview with the Cut: more than $300,000 (£228,000), from a book deal along with “public speaking, the podcast and sponsored ‘influencer’ stuff”.

Link to the rest at The Guardian

6 thoughts on “I Was Paid £12,500 to Write My Book. Here’s Why I’m Revealing That”

  1. Hmm, or they were paid to brag about being paid by the publisher in the hopes other writers would at least offer their works to publishers rather than going indie – and the publisher then having to offer quite a bit more to try to buy into a book/writer that’s already doing well without them.

    I’m guessing that the publisher’s slush pile’s getting to where it’s all chaff and no wheat with which to make their bread …

  2. Click through the book link in the first sentence and tell me if you think the publisher got a good deal or… overpaid?

    • I was thinking overpaid – or just a paid for gimmick. Since the book was about making/getting more money of course the writer bragged about how much they got.

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