Someone asked me yesterday about selling on pocket novels after they’ve been published by My Weekly or The People’s Friend. I was sure I’d done something about this on the blog, but given how many posts there are on this blog, I couldn’t find it myself, so I can hardly expect visitors to.
So, you’ve sold your pocket novel to My Weekly Easy Reads (as they’re called now) or to The People’s Friend. First of all, congratulations! You’ve just cracked a very tough market!
At the moment both markets pay around £300 per 50k novella, which doesn’t sound a lot. But once it has been published, you can immediately send a copy to Ulverscroft for large print publication (and if you don’t get complimentary copies, do make sure you rush out on the day it’s published and buy several books as it has to be the printed copy that you send to Ulverscroft). Ulverscroft pay around £450 for a 50k novella. They have a romance imprint called Linford Romance Library and they have a crime imprint, but I’m not sure what that’s called. I think it’s something like Dale, but don’t quote me on that. Ulverscroft also send you four complimentary copies of your book, and they’re really beautiful books to own. Ulverscroft don’t take unsolicited manuscripts by the way. The books have to have been published in some form by a legitimate publisher.
There are other large print publishers. AudioGo is one, owned by the BBC. I’m told they don’t pay as much as Ulverscroft, but they do pay royalties, whereas Ulverscroft don’t (because Ulverscroft is a charity and only publishes 1000 of each title).
Once your large print novella is in the library, you can then register for Public Lending Rights. It’s impossible to say exactly how much you can earn from this over a long period of time, but each loan earns 5.6p, and just one of my novels was borrowed nearly 2000 times in its first year. And it’s still in libraries, earning alongside all my other novellas that have been registered since.
On top of PLR you can also register both the MW/PF pocket novels and the large print issue for ALCS (Author Licensing and Collecting Society). You register the MW/PF pocket novels amongst the ‘articles’ section because technically they’re magazines. And you register the large print issue amongst books. It’s difficult again to say how much this might earn you for each individual book, as they don’t itemise earnings specifically, but it’s still a bit of extra earnings. But even if you’ve written short stories and articles and aren’t registered for ALCS, then you really should be. You can backdate it three years and you can include any stories that appeared in anthologies as long as they have an ISBN number.
When you sell to My Weekly or to People’s Friend, you generally only give First Cheap Paper Rights or First British Serial Rights. This means that once the novel is off the shelves, you can sell it on anywhere else (and you can sell it for Large Print immediately as mentioned above). Not many places take reprints, but that doesn’t stop you from putting your work on Kindle as an ebook. It’s impossible to guess what the earnings off Kindle might be, but it is another outlet.
So in closing, that book that only earned you £300 to start with, can end up earning you well over £1000 when you take into account Large Print, PLR and ALCS payments.