The economics of writing

So you want to write a historical fiction bestseller?

Sarah at Reading the Past gives you the recipe: having already written a few bestsellers, OR writing the sequel to a bestseller, OR being a celebrity, OR, failing the above, writing a wonderful book that appeals to a wide audience and garners stellar reviews and literary prizes. Easy, I call it.

Now that you have followed the guidelines and written your book, how much money are you going to ask for, and get? Rosina Lippi provides the answer and – very generously – a copy of one of her royalty statements. See how it works? Illuminating.

I speak on my website of advances, and link to this piece at, which gives you a ballpark idea of what to expect upfront.

Thanks to Sarah and Rosina for sharing their insights, and best wishes to all fellow writers!

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5 Comments to “The economics of writing”

  1. Percocet. says:



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  3. RE: my French Revolution novel…it was a very poorly plotted novel done while I was in high school. I don’t know that much can be salvaged from it! But it was great fun to write, nonetheless. :-)


    Thank you, Melissa! And I would love to hear more about your French Revolution novel.

  5. Hi Catherine –
    I can’t wait to read your novel – I’ve long had an intense interest in the French Revolution and wrote one of my early novels during this time period. (Of course, that novel now languishes at the bottom of a drawer). I hope to write another some day set during that time period (much better, of course!) and I am so gratified to see that you found a home for your novel. Congratulations!

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