This is an open ended question. Advances for both fiction and non-fiction books depend on many factors, as does the payback period.

The advance is a loan to the author against sales. You receive no more income beyond the advanced amount until sales exceed the publisher’s projected sales, and you have earned back the advance against sales.

An advance can be as little as a few hundred dollars to millions. The size of the booty depends on how many books a publisher believes it can sell to break even, or earn back the investment. If you are a known celebrity or you were involved in an event of national significance, such as having insider knowledge of the Wiki leaks, the advance probably will be huge. Many advances run in the $1,000-$3,000 range.

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.

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.