What are Royalties?

We often are asked questions from authors and submission about royalties. When are royalties paid? How much of a royalty do authors get? Let’s start what are royalties are, shall we!


Royalties are a form of payment for the creatives. Wikipedia describes Royalties as: “A royalty is a payment made by one party (the licensee or franchisee) to another that owns a particular asset (the licensor or franchisor), for the right to ongoing use of that asset. Royalties are typically agreed upon as a percentage of gross or net revenues derived from the use of an asset or a fixed price per unit sold of an item of such, but there are also other modes and metrics of compensation”.


Every published author agrees on a percentage with their publisher. Royalty rates can vary 2-3% on the low end, and 7-10% on the high end – this is for Traditional publishers. Hybrid publishers (like ourselves) often give a higher royalty of 10-25%, self-publishers and vanity often give a very high royalty as they do little to no marketing, therefore are not investing in the book as much as other publishers.


Royalties are a product of net sales. E.g. If your book is £10 and sells to a bookshop at 50% discount, you would receive your, say, 10% royalty, on the £5 leftover after the percentage. Royalty percentages are from the net sales of the book.


Royalties can be paid per quarter, per month, per year and every 6 months – every publisher is different. The average is twice is a year.


We made a handy video before with many questions and answers we received, we hope you enjoy and find it informative! 


Have you ever found royalties confusing? It's perfectly normal.



25 Feb 2020