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:
As of December 2018 we have stopped charging a conversion cost for ebooks on new titles.
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 used to be standard on all publishers' contracts (and often still is), to protect from them from large numbers of books coming back from the trade in returns. We dropped it on new titles from October 2012 onwards, but the column remains on the system for historical information. It need not be a concern for you.
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:
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.
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 %.
Due to our high volume of authors and payments, we unfortunately cannot split percentages to anyone other than authors or agents. If you would like to donate a portion of your royalties to a good cause you will have to make it directly.
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.