Correction Amazon does pay advances

Timebound by Rysa Walker

Timebound by Rysa Walker to be published by Skyscape

In my post earlier this week about the woeful woes of woe-weary authors, I made the statement that Amazon doesn’t normally pay large advances.  In fact, I said they likely don’t pay any advances at all in most cases.  Turns out I may have spoken out of turn.  Jane Friedman’s Writing on the Ether blog has a story about author Rysa Walker receiving a $50,000 advance for her self-published title Timebound.  That is not chump change, and congratulations to Walker on signing her first publishing contract.  With such a big investment on Amazon’s part, you can be assured she’s going to get some well-placed ad support on the mega online retailers site, as well as some push in the trades.

For those of you not familiar with advances, they are usually paid out a third at a time.  In the olden days of publishing (approximately 5 years ago), it took 12-18 months for authors to receive their advances in full and those advances were usually around $5,000. Authors would get a third upon signing, a third after the edits had been approved, and the last third when the manuscript was sent off to the printers.  I’m guessing Amazon is doing something similar although in a shorter period of time.  I think the book will be re-released under Amazon’s Skyscape imprint in October.

UPDATE – I neglected to credit Porter Anderson as the author of the piece on Writing on the Ether.

2 thoughts on “Correction Amazon does pay advances

  1. Hi, Ridley, enjoy your material at CreateSpace.

    I’m the writer of the weekly Writing on the Ether at on Thursdays (and also Ether for Authors each Tuesday at Publishing Perspectives), and you’re correct here.

    Amazon Publishing — which, as you know is distinct from the self-publishing arms of the company — does indeed offer advances in many cases as a traditional publisher might do.

    We’re not privy to contract details with most authors, of course (which is appropriate, these are proprietary agreements), but I agree with you that these five competition advances (four of $15,000 each and Rysa Walker’s of $50,000) do indeed represent a sizable commitment on the part of the company to author development and are particularly notable because the Breakthrough competition involves the readership in the selection of the winners of these advances.

    All five books are to be released on October 22 and you’re correct that Walker’s will be on the Skyscape imprint.

    Thanks for reading the Ether and all the best in your work!
    On Twitter, @Porter_Anderson

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