Writer's Resource: Book Writer, Ghostwriter

Advances on adult fiction


​   As noted in earlier posts in this series on author advances, way back in 2008, the publishing industry was impacted by the general economic downturn. At that time, advances for adult novels were averaging $120,000 for first-time authors. By 2011, the average had dropped to $60,000.
   The industry began to rebound that same year. These days, advances are generally higher. Across all categories, the average is about $75,000 to $100,000.
   General fiction tends to be the strongest. This average ranges from $50,000 to $120,000 for debut authors.
   For genres, it’s a bit different. The sci-fi/fantasy, romance, and crime (mystery) segments see about $40,000 to $80,000 on average. Thrillers perform better and net about $75,000 to $175,000 to $250,000 for a first book.
   Digital-only deals perform the worst, with most coming in below $50,000 and right around $20,000 to $25,000.