UK authors see advances dwindle
Now is probably not the best time for writers to submit a book in hopes of securing a big advance from a publisher, especially if the author is submitting to a publishing house in the UK.
Many authors are finding that advances being offered are only one-half to one-quarter of what they have previously received.
The biggest declines in advances seem to have been in the non-fiction category of history and in fiction for women, but the likelihood is that other categories, including science fiction and fantasy, have or will also be affected.
According to writers interviewed by The Times, the main problems facing traditional publishers that lead to the lower advances are previously paid out handsome advances that have not been earned back by book sales and competition from print-on-demand publishers that don’t have the need that traditional houses do to commit to large, expensive press runs for risky publications.
The large declines in advances to writers of history has presented another problem, it turns out, not for the publishing industry but for historians who have seen their advances dwindle.
Some professional historians have turned to writing historical fiction in hopes of receiving larger advances, something that some in academia have called “dangerous”.
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