Book Publishing Rates

Print and eBook Agreements

In its Model Publishing Agreement Template, the ASA recommends authors receive a minimum royalty rate of 10% of RRP (recommended retail price) for print books. This royalty rate applies to traditional publishing contracts where authors licence their work to a publisher to be sold in book form.

An estimated potential royalty can be calculated using the following formula: Potential royalty = RRP x print run x 10%
Thus for a $32.95 paperback with a first print run of 3000 copies, the potential royalty to be earned would be $9885.00.

Typically, an author will be paid a proportion of this amount as an ‘advance’, the remainder being ‘earned out’ as the book is sold in shops. The advance may cover around 50% of expected royalties and be paid in instalments: on signing the contract, on delivery of the final manuscript and on publication.

If a book is being published both in print and electronically (e.g. as an eBook), the ASA recommends the author receives as a minimum an amount of 35–50% of Net Receipts on each eBook sold, or 10% of the RRP of the Primary Australian Print Edition, whichever is the greater. This rate applies to new publishing agreements and addendums to existing agreements for print books.

For more information about royalty rates for print books, see the Model Publishing Agreement.

Digital-only Agreements

For digital-only agreements, the ASA recommends a royalty of 50-85% of the List Price where electronic editions (such as eBooks) are sold by the publisher. If the publisher makes electronic editions available for sale through an agency or distributor, the ASA recommends that the author is paid 50% of the amount received by the publisher, provided that the royalty is not less than 35% of Net Receipts. The ASA’s Model E-Publishing Agreement Template provides further information about digital-only agreements.

For further information, see Australian Book Contracts (4th Edition) or Lynne Spender’s Between the Lines: A legal guide for writers and illustrators (both published by Keesing Press).

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