We pay royalties twice a year, by Dec 31st for the May–October period, and by June 30th for November–April. The figures on your Financial page are in £ sterling, but if you live in North America the payments are made in $ US dollars at the average exchange rate for the current year. More on how payments are made in Finance and Payments.
Here is a guide to how your royalty has been calculated; it follows the headings of the table in the Royalties section of your book page:
There is a small deduction against ebook royalties, more on that in Chapter 8. All ebook sales worldwide are run through our USA distributor, so the figure in the USA column is the worldwide total. The amount given is the "Net amount" received for the sale of the title (retail price less any discount given to the customer).
This denotes the period for which the statement has been compiled (six months; all our royalty periods run from May to October and November to April).
These are taken from the “Sales” table on the Sales section for your book. They are taken from the “Total sales column” the units from the “Total units” (they do not include free issues), and amount from the “Value” column in £. The amount given is the "Net amount" received for the sale of the title (retail price less any discount given to the customer). This applies to the ebook table also.
These are manually inputted by us, taken from reports from our North American and UK distributors. These are deducted from the trade sales figures as we do not pay royalties on author sales. This column will not apply for ebook sales.
This provision has been dropped on new titles from October 2012 onwards.
This is taken from your contract terms which you can check at any time by clicking on “View contract” in blue at the top of your book page. It should match the current sales level your title is on. It will usually be 50% for the ebook calculation.
Royalty on trade sales £
The calculation is trade sales, less author sales, plus/minus returns provision (if applicable) and when we have this figure we apply your royalty rate. This is how we come to the royalty on trade sales.
Royalty on foreign-rights sales £
This will apply the foreign rights sales % as per your contract terms, to any foreign rights amounts received in the period (see Foreign Rights Sales table in Sales section). Not applicable for ebook sales.
These are any adjustments we need to make to your royalty payment, the details will be given. In the type column addition will show as A, deduction will show as D. The most common are:
- Balance Bfwd: This amount should match the figure carried forward from your previous royalty period.
- Production costs: To be passed on to author (if agreed with author).
- Royalty on pre-sales: The system does not show the sales of a title from the period before its publication date, within the Royalties section on your finance page. If this is your first royalty statement and your title had sales prior to the period, we will add the royalty for these sales in as an addition. You will be able to check the sales in your sales table for any prior months and we then apply your royalty %.
- ebook cost deduction: see more in CHAPTER 8: EBOOK.
This is the royalty payable to you, calculated as follows: Royalty on trade sales + royalty on foreign-rights sales +/- additions/deductions. We then apply the author split (as per your contract) if there are multiple authors to give us the amount owed to each author. If you have an agent we will automatically pay them this amount. If it is blank see “Unearned cfwd” below. Please note: The amounts that are shown as income from your sales are the net amounts that we receive. This is after discounts have been taken off. Customers have differing discount rates, for various reasons. For example a wholesaler would have a different rate than an independent single bookshop. The total we receive therefore depends on the mix of customers, and it is entirely possible that the same number of books sold would generate a different amount of income over separate royalty periods.
This means that no amount is owed to you for this period, and the figure will be negative. This means there were either net returns for the period, more amounts deducted than royalty owed, or a negative amount was brought forward and the royalty still hasn’t earned through (see above for each separate point). This figure will be shown under deductions in your next statement.
- We will add together the royalty amount owed to you for both physical and ebook sales and pay you the combined total (a negative ebook amount will mean a deduction from the total).
- On the principles of why our royalty terms are as they are, there is more in the relevant sections on the contract in Chapter 6.
- If you have any queries regarding your royalty statement, please post your query on the forum in the royalties section.
- We try to respond to queries quickly, but appreciate your patience in the period just after statements have been issued.
If your title has come to us through an agent, they will be listed on the contracts page, and payment will be made to your agent, and they will make a corresponding payment to you, minus their agreed %.
If a book has two or three named authors we will split the royalties equally unless advised otherwise.
Printing a royalty statement
Go to your book page and click on the “Royalties” section. Scroll to the right-hand side of the “Royalty” table and click on “Open statement.” The statement will open in Microsoft Word. You should then be able to save it to your computer/print it as you wish.
If you have any queries about late payment or wrong payment of your royalties after reading this, please add them to the Royalties section of the Author Forum in Sales & Distribution.
For some authors, in UK and Europe, who are registered for Value Added Tax, we need an invoice from you for the royalty payment, so we can reclaim the tax. Please send the invoice to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are not registered for this (the vast majority) you do not need to do anything.
Thank you for reading this.