Friday, December 07, 2012
Yesterday my very first book royalty check came in the mail from my publisher. The largest amount of money I have ever received at one time for any piece of writing. The fact that this check arrived before the end of the year means that my book made a profit, after publisher's expenses and the paying back of my advance, within its first year of release. Against all odds. A fact that stuns me.
Most people don't know how publishing really works. How authors--unless they're big-name, famous writers--rarely make money from their books. How the first income from book sales goes toward all sorts of behind-the-scenes expenses, percentages for publishing professionals on the book's team, and repaying the author's advance (if he or she even got one).
I fully expected my first royalty check--if I ever even earned one--to be for about twelve cents. I've heard stories like that. The selling of books, for most of us, is Sisyphean. It can feel like an enormous amount of effort for a reward you're not sure you'll ever experience.
To me, though, the publication of my book was truly sufficient reward. It was the culmination of a lifelong dream, and if the only copies that ever sold had been purchased by my mom, I would still have been a happy soul. I didn't care if I ever saw a royalty check, or if I did, if it was for twelve cents. But that doesn't mean I wasn't very, VERY thrilled that this check was for a heck of a lot more than twelve cents. Because it arrived at a time when I've been up to my ears in bills. And at the holidays, when I've had presents to buy for my kids. And during a period of much tumult and stress in my life, when good luck or good news was greatly needed. In other words, it arrived at exactly the right time.
But what I really want to say today is this: THANK YOU, DEAR ONES. This is all because of YOU.
You have supported me on this author-journey through thick and thin. You have bought my book and recommended it to friends. You have written reviews of it for others to read. You have thrown the weight of your love and support behind my book--even just by reading all my book plugs on this blog, all the announcements and publicity, even by simply putting up with all the PR.
A bunch of you, out there, bought my book and that's why a check came in the mail yesterday for me. To many people, the dollar amount of that check is mere peanuts. And I suppose in the big wide world of book publishing, it is peanuts. But not to me.
And I owe it all to you. Sending so much love to you today.