Sadly, most books never earn enough to exceed the advance. That is because publishers have sophisticated formulas for estimating sales, and they don’t often offer advances larger than they believe they can recover in sales. Sometimes they guess wrong. The Harry Potter fictional series is a classic example that beat the odds.

Remember, the advance is a loan to the author against sales. You receive no more income beyond the advance until sales exceed the publisher’s projected sales.

An author, especially a new one, should never depend on making money from his/her first book. Most new books sell less than 100 copies. Even backed by a major publisher, you might sell a few thousand copies unless you are extremely lucky.

Be realistic about your sales and income expectations. Concentrate on making your writing the best that it can be. The joy is in the making of the story. If others like what you have written, that is a real gift.

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