Posts Tagged ‘Royalties’

This is a British thing that I don’t really know a lot about, but I understand from Editors Sarah Doyle and Allen Ashley that HUMANAGERIE (see March 18, et al.) is eligible for nomination for a Saboteur Award for Best Anthology of 2018, as well as Eibonvale Press for Most Innovative Publisher.  As Sarah puts it:  I know there have been some amazing anthologies out in the past year (in which some of you may have appeared), but if you wanted to vote for “Humanagerie” in the Best Anthology category (and/or wanted to share the link with friends/family or via social media), that would be very welcome.  But no worries if not, of course!  As I understand it, the awards are sponsored by SABOTAGE REVIEWS and supported by a “Grant for the Arts” from Arts Council England.

For more information on the awards (with last year’s winners) one can press here while, if so moved, to make nominations press here.

Also today marks the second royalty statement for this month, this for substantially more than the last, actually topping $1.00!  I won’t say by how much nor will I mention the publisher’s name, but in full disclosure, royalties received for short stories in anthologies (that is, sharing the take with all other authors) are generally not going to be very great.  Moreover this particular one is for a series of four books published more than ten years ago, which have continued to produce sales every year from the earliest, in 2001 — and indeed, added up especially in the earliest years, have paid totals which had they been paid all at once would be fairly impressive.  (Of course — even fuller disclosure — these are a particularly bright exception, most anthologies doing well perhaps in their first year, but not having nearly that much staying power).

It often will take a few months for a publisher to gather all royalty information together, especially if there are multiple vendors reporting — Amazon plus B and N plus perhaps the publisher’s own website, for instance.  And then there may be more than one book involved.  So, unsurprisingly, the statement received today is not for the third quarter but rather a six-month total for 2018’s first half, ending in June.  And, as has been my custom, the micro-amount logged into my ledger, I shall report neither amount nor publisher to avoid mutual embarrassment.

But wait, there is something that I can add, that it may not be as trivial as it sounds.  As it happens, the royalty covers four separate anthologies with a story in each, though only two had actual sales.  But these are anthologies that were published quite a few years before, which in their day provided half-yearly amounts in the $10.00 to $12.00 range each.  And these continued over periods of several years, adding up for each, if not riches exactly, what would have been reasonable one-time payments for each of four stories, and possibly more than that for some.  Remember these are royalties, too, that are shared among every writer with work in an anthology.

So, the moral, while today’s haul might be good, at best, for a down payment on lunch, the books and the publisher have done well enough in the past for me, and it’s actually a small delight that even a few are still interested enough to buy some copies, and that enough to provide the authors any royalties now at all.

I can probably say now with some assuredness that DIGITAL SCIENCE FICTION ANTHOLOGY (cf . April 2, March 27; July 29 2017) has not yet been published.  However, Managing Editor Michael A. Wills has released a preview of the cover so more should be ready for announcement soon.  Also today’s email adds that there will now be a total of 25 stories by 25 authors, the book will contain about 125,000 words and 400 pages, and be available in e-book, paperback, and “eventually” hardcover formats.

Then one more small item (in more ways than one), today brought the first royalty check for spring quarter.  As is my custom, neither amount nor publisher will be revealed, but I can say that this time the check was greater than the postage that sent it!

As posted just below there will not be a September “First Sunday Prose Readings” scheduled because the Bloomington Arts Fair, and with it the Writers Guild’s “Spoken Word Stage,” will be on that weekend.  And now a preliminary schedule has been released, with me slotted for a half hour of “horror fiction” at 3:30 Sunday, September 3.  The reading most likely will be from TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, probably the same program I offered at NASFiC last month (cf. July 13).  Then, as we already know from the post below, I will also be a featured reader when First Sunday Prose resumes on October 1, most likely again with a story-chapter from TOMBS, but a different one this time.

In other news, PayPal has apparently adopted a policy this year of refusing to tell people when they’ve received payments, one would like to presume for good purpose.  Keeping us on our toes, for instance, or maybe trying to discourage small businesses from reporting earnings to the IRS.  I’ve asked (well . . . complained to) PayPal about this for which they’ve responded thus far by not bothering to get back to me on it.  Be that as it may, today I’ve discovered — only four days late! — that another mammoth royalty payment has been received by me, of nearly a whopping three times as much as the amount the PayPal folk skimmed off for themselves (to cover, presumably, the cost of providing such services as not emailing me that I’d received it).

For how much?  From whom?  For what story and where?  Well, as is my custom, let’s let that be secret to prevent embarrassment on all sides, but this is for an anthology that’s been in print for a few years now, and for which the initial payment had been refreshingly substantial (well, for an individual story, shall we say in a highish two figures?).

And so in the late afternoon hours of Monday, I returned to the Computer Cave to find 2017’s first mid-year royalty check in my mailbox.*  Yep, stories still selling — in this case with sales enough to provide, say, a bag of chips to go with a burger not yet earned.  But others should come in the next few

“Cutting the Check”

days for the just-completed first half of the year, so who knows?  In any event we will most likely have to wait till next week before the check can go to the bank to start collecting interest, since the banks will be closed Tuesday, though for reasons having nothing to do with my mammoth financial windfall, but rather because tomorrow is Independence Day.  Happy Fourth of July!

*As is customary I am not saying exactly how much or who from, in that way to avoid embarrassment all around.

For Mardi Gras or, more to the point, this was a six-month royalty for the last half of 2016 and one pretty generous as these things go.  But — how to say it? — perhaps more than one thing has been disappointing about the nether partindexs of the past year.  As the editor/publisher herself put it (as is my custom, to avoid embarrassment on both sides the actual publisher/book[s] will remain anonymous), [w]e hope it rebounds in 2017, and are redoubling our promotional efforts to that end.  Unless you object, we will simply hold your royalty over through this royalty period in the hopes that it grows substantial enough to pay you at the end of the summer.  And fair enough, say I.  Actually this one would buy a small meal at a discount restaurant, but why not let it slide for now and maybe, by Labor Day, have enough for dessert as well!

Laissez les bon temps rouler, eh?

Well, maybe it’s not really, truly “mammoth,” but it’s enough for an upscale meal at a local restaurant.  Including tip.  And it’s not entirely for THE TEARS OF ISIS, nor just this quarter (though that’s there as part of it, in itself enough for, maybe, a burger and fries and isis-ecover-664x1024that’s something too).  Also included are moneys accumulated in past quarters, enough to make it worthwhile for Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing to cut a check, or more accurately a PayPal payment, for a pleasant start for the month of June.  A sign of summer, and nice times to come?

A small amount as well — perhaps a tad over a twentieth — is for my story, “Dead Girls, Dying Girls,” in the Kurt Vonnegut tribute anthology SO IT GOES (cf. May 27; also January 3 2013), also published by PMMP.  Anthology royalties generally are small since they have to be divided among a number of authors.  But the nice thing is, although the money is nice to have too (being on PayPal, it’ll actually most likely go to a couple or three horror DVDs, perhaps some somewhat rare or expensive ones that I might have otherwise put off buying — for what’s the point of having money if not to afford the occasional treat?) — but the nice thing is the reminder that a few dollars are being earned each quarter, a few more copies are being bought of THE TEARS OF ISIS.

For more information on THE TEARS OF ISIS (which also, I might add, has three “Tombs” stories), one is invited to click on its center column picture.  From that one may navigate to other books, including SO IT GOES if one desires.

And the thing is this — it all adds up.


In the evening hours Monday, Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday, word came from the UK’s KnightWatch Press that my reprint story, “Bernice,” loosely inspired by Poe’s “Berenice” — the tale of a lady and troubles with teeth — “has been chosen for a place in this anthology.”  The anthology in question is OOnce-Bitten-225x300NCE BITTEN, “of stories telling tales of horrific love,” to quote from last fall’s guidelines.  “Think of love turned sour, or love that works well in extraordinary circumstances.  Could these two peas in a pod really be pod people?  What if Harry was a spider and Sally was his victim?  As long as it combines a thematic element of love in a horror story, that’s all we ask.”

Who could resist?  Other sources tell me that ONCE BITTEN is looking toward an April release, as spring opens up a whole season of new love.  “Bernice,” which is actually of an older man’s love for a wife just deceased — and who also had good teeth — originally appeared in INHUMAN in Fall 2011.

Then today, Tuesday, a second publisher has sent royalties for two stories, “Avoid Seeing a Mouse” in ALTERED AMERICA and “Girls Gone Dead” in LIFE OF THE DEAD, both by Martinus Press.  Both also are reprints, from ZOMBIE JESUS AND OTHER TRUE STORIES (Dark Moon Books, 2012) and NEW DAWN FADES (Post Mortem Press, 2011) respectively, so, in a sense, the new money can be thought of as gravy.  It’s also a tad over nine times as much as the previous royalty received this year (see January 6), so perhaps it might buy a piece of meat for the gravy as well.

The books are out!  After some past delays, the word came via Facebook from editor Aaron French:  “Pleased to officially announce the release of MONK PUNK and THE SHADOW OF THE UNKNOWN in OMINBUS edition [cf. January 2, et al.] from Hazardous Press!  504 pages of Lovecraftian goodness!  Featuring all of the original stories as well as 11 that are brand new to this edition, each centered MonkPunk2around the theme of monks and/or the surreal aspect of the unknown in weird fiction.*  Available in paperback and on Kindle. Stories from Gary A. Braunbeck, Stephen Mark Rainey, Richard Gavin, Willie Meikle, John R. Fultz, Joshua M. Reynolds, Gene O’Neill, James Dorr, Erik T. Johnson, Michael Bailey, Mike Lester, Glynn Owen Barrass, David West, Adrian Chamberlin, Jay Wilburn, K Trap Jones, PS Gifford, RB Payne, John Claude Smith, and much more!”  Available from Amazon in both print and Kindle editions and Amazon UK, more info can be found by pressing here, here, or here.

Then moving on to a different publisher, in today’s mailbox the year’s first mammoth payment has appeared — ah, the riches, the riches! — a royalty check for $2.56.  So maybe more like a very small mammoth, one that local cave cat Wednesday might mistake for a mouse, but it’s the principle (and other payments had been received from various publishers at the tail end of December, so it all adds up to at least the price of a reasonably loaded pizza**).  And it is nice that, even if only a few people buy a particular book in a particular quarter- or half-year, it does add up.  Readers tell other readers.  Books get lent.  More stories and poems get sold and the word gets out so, even if for most of us it doesn’t mean we’re quitting our day jobs, it does seem to me to be worth the effort!


*Or, as Amazon adds, “In the tradition of Steampunk, Cyberpunk, and Splatterpunk comes this new sub-strain of speculative fiction — MONK PUNK.  Twenty-three hard-hitting Monkpunk tales of fantasy, science fiction, and Lovecraftian horror.  Madness and the Mythos, the Surreal and the Sinister.  THE SHADOW OF THE UNKNOWN collects twenty-nine tales of horror inspired by H. P. Lovecraft and the element of the unknown in supernatural fiction.  Think your sanity can withstand the assault?”


**Or about one-third of a large bag of Cave Cat Chow.

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