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Your Book's Financial Success
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Show Me the Money: How to Own Your Book's Financial Success by: Melissa A Rosati�How much money would you like to earn from your book,� I ask my client.From her facial reaction, I know that the question resonates as if I am asking how much her child is worth. It is challenging to most writers to think in terms of dollars and cents.That�s why I ask.The romantic myth that money somehow sullies the creative process is, in reality, a bigger obstacle to your publication goals than not having an agent. It�s not that your goal has to be to get rich from your book, although that is a perfectly fine goal to have. It�s that understanding the ebb and flow of money in your publishing life creates a positive perception about you as an author prospect. When you have defined expectations, you project confidence, commitment and focus.To clarify your financial focus, I offer three questions to help you center on where you are today, and three questions to help you establish your financial goals.1. What is your motivation for writing the book? How will the book serve your career and/or life purpose?2. How do you promote your image now? Do you do workshops or publish articles?3. What are your long-term career goals as a writer? Currently, is writing a hobby or a business? Do you report your income and/or expenses on your income tax?Here are three questions to help you establish your financial goals.1. Identify two books that are similar to yours in your publishing category. What is the LIST (cover) price of each one? Assume it is a hard cover book and that you would receive a 10% list royalty from the publisher (for paperback, assume a 7.5% royalty). Then, calculate how much you would earn if the book sold 5,000 copies, 7,500 copies, and so on.2. Using the amount you would like to earn as a guide, how much of that money would you like to retain as income and how much are you willing to invest in publicity or direct selling, independent of what the publisher plans to do for your book?3. Given what you plan to invest in the marketing and promotional effort and in the time you will invest in writing the book, what is the ideal advance amount you would like to negotiate with the publisher?Every editor comes to the contract negotiation with numbers in mind. He or she has made a decision about the market value of your work. If you do the same, you are in the position to have thorough discussion about mutual expectations. Make a list of the items that are most important to you.Finally, make a financial calendar that will help you visualize when you will be incurring expenses versus when you anticipate receiving your advance payments or income from other sources.Whether you are an author with a commercial publisher or you are self-publishing, you have the power to make your project a financial success on your terms.Believe in yourself, your talent and your ability to value your work. Now, go forth and prosper.C 2006 Melissa A Rosati