Didn't see it. I've been practicing staying awake in anticipation of Dan
Brown's new book, "The Lost Symbol," due to be released September 15th.
Reports are that the initial press run will be 5 million copies*.
Brown has spent five years in research and writing a book that covers a
period of twelve hours!
Angles & Demons, the movie starring Tom Hanks, will be released May 15th.
The Da Vinci Code starred the Opus Dei. Angles & Demons focused on the
Illuminati. Rumor suggests The Lost Symbol will deal with the Masons.
* Ever wonder how much an author makes? For hardback books, the minimum
royalty is usually 10% of the cover price. For well-known and proven
authors, the royalty can go up to 15%. For subsequent paperback rights, up
to 30% with the author and hardback publisher splitting the royalty. Then
there's Book of the Month club, magazine serialization, foreign publication
rights, subsidiary sales (such as action figures and games), and, of course,
movie & TV rights.
Assuming the initial printing of 5 million sells double-quick, and guessing
of a retail price of $24.95, yields a revenue stream directly to Brown of
almost $19 million. Of course that has to be amortized over five years...
My heroine is J.K. Rowlings. She wrote the first Harry Potter book in
long-hand while sitting in a public library. She didn't have much of a home,
since she was on the dole with two small children. Now, she's the
second-richest woman in the UK. Still remembering her tough financial times,
however, she took additional steps toward financial security.
She married a dentist.
I'm sure it varies, but I'm the author of a fairly expensive hard cover book,
and the royalty begins at 10% of *monies received*. So if the book is
discounted at 40% to major booksellers, the royalty begins at that reduced
And it gets cut in half for a variety of reasons: discounts over 45%, overseas
sales, direct mail order sales, etc.
So my $40 book seldom generates a $4 royalty, it is usually more like ($40) x
(50% discount) x (5% royalty) = $1
On the other hand, my publisher never remainders a book, so I'm still getting
royalties after 15 years. Not much, though.
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