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#PublishingPaidMe Authors Reveal Their Advances


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Authors have compiled a public spreadsheet detailing the advances.  


According to Publishers Weekly, National Book Award-winner Jesmyn Ward, wrote: "Even after Salvage the Bones won the NBA [National Book Award], my publishing company did not want to give me 100k for my next novel. My agent and I fought and fought before we wrestled our way to that number."


That is remarkable. 

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Dana Canedy, Senior Vice President and Publisher, Simon and Schuster, Inc weighs in this topic




It's very funny to me when people say that publishing fits that sort of M.O., because you could be talking about law, or really sort of any other industry.

I think industries in general need to look at themselves, publishing included. And I, for many years, headed up diversity and inclusion initiatives at The New York Times as part of my portfolio as a senior manager there, a senior newsroom leader.

And so I have a lot of tools in my tool chest that I can call upon. But I think, for Simon & Schuster specifically, I don't have the answers yet. I need to get — start the job, get in there, roll up my sleeves, and see what they're doing and where there are opportunities for growth.

So, one thing anybody who works with me knows is, I'm very honest. I'm not going to pretend to have answers that I don't. So I will get in there, talk to the staff, talk to the leadership, and figure out where we go.

We will have — and they may already, but we will have a comprehensive approach to diversity of all kinds. I just need to get into the company and figure out where we need to go. And then I don't think it's enough, as a leader in this industry who happens to be a person of color, to just look at Simon & Schuster.

I want to influence the entire publishing community. It's a little early to answer how, but I will. And you can check back with me in a year and hold me accountable.



during her PBS interview.

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... and another thing @Mel Hopkins you know AALBC does not get get pre-publication galleys for any of the "big books" that come out.  Books like Caste or How to Be an Anitracist , etc -- books that I sell a bazillion copies of... If I get one I have to request it every time. where white owned store get multiple copies final copies -- just because.


I don't have to do this with indie publishers, like Akashic Books or Lee & Low or Red Sea Press or Black Classic Press or Kensington Books or Blue Nile I could go on ...  Indie presses reach out and nurture relationships. with me.


One exception, for me is is Amistad an Imprint of HarperCollins, they are exceptional, but that is due to the imprint's editorial director leader Tracy Sherrod.


Our course I can go on about how Black booksellers are over looked by the large publishers for events.  t is also true that big name Black authors themselves do not want to do Black bookstore events!   In fact big name authors should, follow Walter Mosely's lead and do a lot more to support Black platforms. 


It is not just that the "Big 5" publishers do not give large advances to authors.  Besides writers  like Jesmyn Ward and NK Jemisen quickly earn out their advances and make a pretty penny on royalties.  In fact, that is really what the conversation that should be -- forget advance size -- how much are Black authors earning and why, because the vast majority of published authors, or any color, do not get large advances.


Where are The Big Five spending their ad dollars? Where are they touring their authors, do their in house publicists have a clue on how to reach Black readers?  Do they even know the Black stores, sites, events to support utilize?


At the end of the day the industry is steeped in classism founded in a culture of racism.  the people who can made the changes are the ones writing Dana's check. 


Dana sounds serious about trying to make changes.  I'm willing to give her a chance, but I'm definitively not holding my breath.

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