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Making a profit in publishing

17 January 2005

'The fact is, we are in a competitive marketplace - and the market determines the price of the author. In some ways, it's a mistake to think of the advance as something that's got to be earned by royalties. The advance to the author is the cost of having that author's book. What matters in the end is whether it yields sufficient profit.

It's not widely understood that titles that fail to earn their advances can be very profitable. Sales in the past few years have been incredibly buoyant. They generate a lot of revenue, which can more than compensate for an unearned.'

Malcolm Edwards, group publisher the Orion Group in the Bookseller