Topic: What to expect in royalties for debut authors
Here's more useful info from #1 NYT writer, Mercedes R. Lackey
Bear in mind that you are a first-time author. Whether you work with an agent or directly through the publisher will make little to no difference. Unless for some reason this is one of those books that the publisher is wildly enthusiastic about, you will be offered a standard first-timer contract with standard royalty rates (which really don’t vary much across the entire industry). According to Alan Jacobson, the current standard rates are:
“Typically, an author can expect to receive the following royalties: Hardback edition: 10% of the retail price on the first 5,000 copies; 12.5% for the next 5,000 copies sold, then 15% for all further copies sold. Paperback: 8% of retail price on the first 150,000 copies sold, then 10% thereafter.”
This is what you will get. This is what Stephen King gets. This is what I get.
***on a personal note, I, (Ann) recently read another article that noted a large social media following now plays an important role in getting a contract from one of the major publishing houses. For those of you who aren't active on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. This might be a good time to start building those followers...IF... you want to query the big publishers.