Posted by: Kathy Temean | December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Gwen Connolley sent me this beautiful Illustration on Christmas Eve. I thought it was perfect to share with you on Christmas, so we have three gifts to enjoy, plus since last night I said I saw a contract in Santa’s Sleigh, I figured you might like this information from Chuck Sambuchino about contracts and money. So make sure you scroll to the bottom for Chuck.

The above illustration was sent in from Kit Grady, a published children’s illustrator and author living in the mountains of North Carolina. You can view her work at

And what would Christmas be like without an illustration from Susan Mitchell? I guess that is why so many publishers think of Susan when they have a Christmas book that needs to be illustrated. You can visit Susan website at:  or view the post when she was featured on Illustrator Saturday.

Here is an Excerpt from Chuck’s article on money and Contracts:

1. How do writers make money?

You sign a contract with a publisher. In exchange for signing over the North American print rights to your book and possibly other rights, as well, you are paid one of three ways:

  1. flat fee: a set amount of money upfront that’s yours to keep. The amount does not change no matter how well the book sells. For example, if your flat fee is $10,000, the amount remains the same no matter if the book sells 10 copies or 10 million.
  2. royalties: a small amount paid to you for every book sold.
  3. advance against royalties: a sum of money upfront to you with the promise of more (royalties) should the book sell well.

2. Which of the three methods above is most desirable?

An advance against royalties. It’s probably the most desirable, and it is by far the most common. It’s like you get both #1 and #2 combined. Let me explain exactly how an advance against royalties would work. For this example, I’ll keep it real simple (for my own sake). Let’s say the publishing house offers you an advance of $60,000 and royalties of $3/book. Note that the upfront advance of $60,000 is not in addition to royalties, but rather part of royalties – meaning they’ve given you royalties for the first 20,000 books (times $3/book) upfront. Since they’ve already paid you the royalties of the first 20,000 books, you will not start actually making an additional $3/book until you sell copy 20,001. The royalty possibilities are essentially endless. You can make $3 a book forever as long as it keeps selling in bookstores and on Amazon.

7. When do you receive the money after you sign your contract?

It depends, but know that money is usually split upon into multiple payments. For example, if you sign a deal for $12,000, you may get $4,000 (one third) upon signing the contract, then another one third upon completion of editing/writing the project, then the final one third when the book is released.

Don’t miss reading the rest

Enjoy your day.  We’ll talk tomorrow,



  1. Here’s hoping to contracts, sack or not! 🙂 And thanks for sharing these adorable illustrations. I hope everyone had a safe and happy time with family and friends 🙂


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