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Flat Fee For A Book?

Freelance Writing Q&ADear Anne,
I am new to your site and I have really found it to be beneficial. I have a quick question for you:

I am in the process of writing a professional book with regards to teaching writing. I am a teacher myself…20 years and still going strong!

I have been contacted by a small publishing firm who may be interested. This firm does not pay royalties. Instead they offer a flat fee and in return they get exclusive rights to publish. They have asked what fee I would consider for compensation of these rights.

I have absolutely no idea what to quote them. The book is lengthy – 200 pages, has taken 7 years of research, 2 years of promotion through workshops, and 3 years of collecting student samples.

Besides being a teacher, I have opened up my own consulting business and provide workshops to area teachers. I have trained @ 100 teachers using the methods from my book. Last summer, after having such success with these methods of teaching writing, I decided to use this information to write the book. And that is where I am now.

Any information about how to set a flat fee for something like what I am writing would be appreciated.



Hi MJ,


Let me understand. You’re a pro with your own platform (the 100 teachers and you’re own consulting business and who knows how many workshops) and you’re actually thinking of giving away all rights to a book that has taken all that time to research and write for a flat fee?

Unless they are willing to pay you a couple of million dollars, which they won’t, I strongly urge you to consider some other options first. My hunch is they are thinking $5,000 or $10,000 and you’re sitting on a gold mine.

Start with Peter Bowerman’s Well-Fed Self-Publisher. Buy the book; explore his website.

The short form reason is, if you do it right, you can make $5, $6, and even more per book you self-publish and market yourself, and you obviously know how to market.

Sure, it’s hard, but when you compare the returns I think you’ll at least pause and think it all through.

The other alternative is a publisher that will pay royalties. You’ll still be involved in the marketing if the book is to be a success, but you’ll probably get an advance of about what the flat-fee publisher would give you and you have an opportunity to make more money.

Take a look at the Self-Publishing category here. Don’t sign with anyone until you understand your options, and that includes companies that offer services to self- or independent-publishers.

Keep us posed and good luck!



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