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  • Writer's pictureIan Brooks

What is the Typical Advance for a First Time Author?

The truth is that this

man and woman standing under a money tree

wildly. Everyone has heard stories of the six figure advances for debut authors. These incredibly talented individuals who light the literary world on fire when they burst onto the scene. And because these are such amazing deals, because they are such headline grabbers, it’s easy to forget they are the exception to the rule. Not everyone gets massive advances. Not everyone is set for superstardom.

And this begs the question, how much do debut authors get paid? How much is a first-time author’s typical advance? There’s no easy answer to this though most sources on the matter seem to suggest the most debut authors can except advances of between €5,000 and €15,000.

Though writers should also know their advance may be even lower. For instance, J.K. Rowling only received an advance of £1,500 for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Granted, this was back in 1996 and today that figure is worth around £3,600 or just under €4,200. This should also act as evidence that a small advance doesn’t necessarily mean small success.

Debut authors should be aware of their potential payout. Sure, they may hit the jackpot and get paid huge advances. But by that same token they may end up with a more modest sum.


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