Friday, November 12, 2010

I wonder why they're called royalties

I've never received a lifetime award for anything and I hope I never do. I haven't lived a lifetime yet! ...How do you like that? I'm digressing before I start. That should be as impossible as receiving a lifetime achievement award while you're still alive.

I don't know why the money paid to artists for the sale of their work is called a royalty. If you know, I'd appreciate it if you would post it. I'm curious.

...But that's not really why I'm posting this tonight...

What I really want to say is that I'm delighted to report that my first ever royalty check is on its way to me. In addition to wanting to cheer out loud (which, by the way, I have done this evening), I feel like reflecting. It's long been a dream of mine to write and publish books. By publish I mean writing a book (in my case it's plural and getting plural-er by the week), getting those books for sale to the public, and receiving income from sales.

When I get that check next week from Lulu Enterprises, Inc., it will be the fruit of that dream. I really don't know how the term "royalty" came to be when it comes to paying the artist a portion of the sales price. I think it's an interesting word to use for those payments. I also think it's really cool that it is the work, not the writer, that is and will generate those royalties. If I get hit by a truck tomorrow and killed (which, btw, I aim to make sure doesn't happen), the royalties will keep coming. The books will generate income as long as people buy them.

If you're a writer and you're considering publishing, my advice to you is not to stop with eBooks. I've blogged about those before and I haven't changed my mind. It's a growing portion of publishing. For now, and for the foreseeable future, just so you know...the money is in print books. I have to sell 3 Kindle copies of Sexton to make as much as I do from one paperback copy of the same book.

I'm looking forward to getting that check. I hope it's the smallest royalty check I ever get. I'll know without remembering. Before I cash that check, I'm going to make a copy and frame it. I'll treat it like...wait for it...royalty.

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