When I wrote my post about the elements of a book advance, I got a few emails asking for clarifications about royalties. So I thought I’d dedicate one additional page to the question: what is a royalty?
It’s very simple: if you wrote a book, a royalty is the percentage you are paid when you sell a copy. It’s your cut.
Royalty rates can vary based on several factors, but the definition doesn’t need to get more complicated: as long as we’re talking about book royalties, we’re referring to the amount you are paid. Your publisher takes a cut, and the portion you get is your royalty.