Publisher’s Royalties Statements

Years ago I remember seeing a cartoon in the Society of Authors’ magazine which depicted a poor, tattered, half-starved seeker after truth hauling himself up to the top of a mountain to where, in the mouth of a cave, sat a wise, old guru. The guru was saying…’I’m sorry, I don’t understand publishers’ royalty statements either.’

Back then you needed a doctorate in astrophysics to understand what your royalty statement was telling you.  Personally I was just grateful for the cheque. Some writers I knew were convinced that their publishers were under-reporting their sales and would spend hours driving themselves nuts trying to unravel the intricacies of ‘Hardcopy Sales Domestic’,  ‘Paperback Sales Commonwealth’, ‘Gross Sales Full Rate’, ‘Transfers’,  ‘Review Copies’ and, most mysterious of all, ‘Returns’.

Mainly through pressure from organizations such as The Society of Authors, most publisher’s royalty statements have become clearer and cleaner over the past few years, but the best, clearest and most easily understood royalty statement I’ve ever received popped into my inbox this week from my eBook publishers, eText Press.

Even though the statement has to account for sales from Amazon at various rates, depending on where the books have been sold, as well as sales from Smashwords sales on the iPad and other platforms, the statement was the height of simplicity and clarity. I was able to understand what books had sold and where my sales had come from in seconds.

Mark you – I’m still grateful for the money.