Making my fortune from book sales
The abuse I get on social media is pretty mild stuff compared with that received by others. It usually comprises allegations that I am fat (these are true), a liar (these are untrue, but then I might be lying in saying that) or in this campaigning lark for the money (ha ha!).
Apparently I wrote Inglorious in order to make my fortune rather than to influence the debate over the future of driven grouse shooting.
The other day I received my remittance advice from Bloomsbury which covered Inglorious (published 2015), A Message from Martha (published 2014) and Birds and Forestry (published 1989).
You’ll see that in the fourth year of its publication, Inglorious provided me with £343.34, A Message from Martha nothing at all, and Birds and Forestry, in its thirtieth year, £3.12. If you bought a copy of Inglorious from a bookseller some time in 2018, maybe on 1 January 2018, and maybe paid around £9.50 for it, then I have just received my share, maybe £0.60, of your expenditure. And of course that money is taxable. Getting any money at all in 2019 for work done in 2014 is a great thrill, but £343.34 is not going to pay the bills for very long. In contrast, the fact that Inglorious is finding its way into more and more people’s hands, and its ideas into more and more people’s brains, is very pleasing.
In fact, 252 copies of Inglorious were sold in 2018 including 40 e-books. £343 divided by 252 doesn’t come to 60p but that’s because some of an author’s royalties are kept back for future years and so some old sales have only now found their way into my bulging bank account. Publishers do that partly because some books may be returned unsold from booksellers and they end up as a negative sum on your royalty return (and some paperback copies recrossed the Atlantic in that category). Complicated isn’t it?
For a more detailed breakdown of the fortunes to be made from writing books see this previous blog about Inglorious, this previous blog about receipts from other books and public lending right, and for an insight into my sources of income (which I have just updated) see here.