Advances and Earnings Potential
Perhaps it's human nature. But all discussions about writing a romance novel of any format — as do discussions about any profession — will eventually turn to money. How much can you expect to receive as an advance? Better yet, how much can you expect to earn overall from the sale of the book?
First book advance range: $1,000–$4,000
First book earn-out range: $1,000–$11,000
Subsequent books earn-out range: $1,000–$60,000
The amount of the advance for a first novel in a category line is often determined by the overall success of the line, as well as by house policy. (In other words, an agent isn't likely to get you a huge increase in terms of an advance for a series romance.)
Most authors are hesitant to discuss the amount of money they make. The Internet, however, can be an excellent source of such information, especially a Web site such as romance author Brenda Hiatt's Show Me the Money (
Naturally, some category lines sell better than others do. This means they have the potential for an even larger earn-out. As with most things in the publishing industry, however, the popularity of a series line fluctuates along with the popularity of its particular subgenre.