Median author advance under £6,600

Median author advance under £6,600

The median advance for traditionally published authors is “well under £6,600”, according to early findings of a survey into authors’ attitudes towards their publisher. The survey also found that bigger publishers pay more.

The "Do You Love Your Publisher?" survey was launched earlier this month and is co-produced by Jane Friedman in the States and Harry Bingham in the UK. It will be available to traditionally published authors to complete until 31st March. The hashtag #authorsay is being used on Twitter in relation to the survey. The results of the latest survey will published in The Bookseller on 10th April.

The survey found that taking advances paid only by the large trade publishers (from Penguin Random House to Bloomsbury) the median advance climbs to about £13,000. The survey asks authors a range of questions, from the level of advance they most recently received to how satisfied they were with their cover design. Of the authors who have so far completed the survey, one-third were published by a “big five” publisher, and a further fifth published by a “large trade publisher”. The majority of writers had published six or more titles already, with about half the respondents indicating that they had self-published at least one title, while a further 23% reported that they had “seriously considered” self-publishing.

About 70% of authors think their publishers' editorial function was good or excellent . . . but 74% of authors were never asked by their publisher for feedback. That ratio is actually worse (77%) when it comes to the large trade publishers. However, the survey has so far showed that authors are broadly satisfied with their publisher, although as previously reported more authors would switch their publisher than their agent.

Thirty-two questions long, the survey draws its "Do You Love Your Publisher?" title from a poll of some 300 professional UK authors in 2012.

The results of the latest survey will published in The Bookseller on 10th April. The survey can be taken here, with more detail here.