An advance is a sum of money paid by a publisher to an author or agent in exchange for the exclusive right to publish the author’s work. The amount is determined by a number of factors, including the author’s track record, the expected sales of the book, and the general state of the book industry. It is typically paid in installments, with the first installment paid upon signing the contract and the remaining installments paid as the author meets certain milestones, such as turning in the manuscript or reaching certain sales targets.
While an advance can provide much-needed financial stability for an author, it is important to remember that it is not free money. An author will only receive royalties (a percentage of the book’s sales) after they have earned back their advance through book sales. This means that an author who receives a large amount may have to sell many books before they start seeing any additional income. For this reason, an author needs to have a realistic expectation of their book’s sales before signing a contract that includes an advance.
There are a few different ways that an author can use their advance. The most obvious way is to use it to cover living expenses while they write the book. This can be especially helpful for authors who are working on a book full–time and are not able to hold down a regular job. Other authors may choose to save their advance or invest it in other projects. For example, an author with a large advance may choose to use some of the money to hire a publicist to help promote their book.