Is your Royalty Statement Fake News? Part 1
Mine is. Or, at least it looks like it is. There is an old adage in business, "If a financial report is too long and too complicated, it could be that someone is trying to hide something." I don't know if anyone is hiding anything, but my royalty statements are very long, complicated, and difficult to understand. For example, below is an illustration of one type of entry where they subtracted $3,750 in royalties with no explanation, other than "adjustment." (Just imagine the CEO of a publishing company getting a pay check with a deduction of $3,750 with no explanation.) :
This happens over 10 times on the statement. There are so many entries like this that I don't know where to start asking questions. But I know something is wrong precisely because there is no explanation. They know where this entry comes from, but they are not sharing it with me. Why not?
My experience tells me there are three things that keep us from getting the information we need, in order to know if our royalty statements are correct.
At XYZ Textbooks we do things differently. Every author gets an easy to read royalty statement. We pay royalties on the full price of our eBooks. And every author gets a list of schools using their book. An author can ask for year-to-date sales and income at any time during the year, and they can ask for a list of the schools using their book at any time. Every publisher has that information.
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