Today I Got a Royalty Check

book covers Sept 2012Royalty checks come twice/year – typically at the beginning of April and the beginning of October. The April check pays royalties for the six month period from July thru December. The October check pays for January thru June.

Writing children’s books is not a way to make a lot of money. And it’s very difficult to get published, especially these days.

There are, of course, exceptions.

If you are a celebrity, you can publish stuff that no editor would touch if you weren’t already famous. Buying a celebrity’s book is a big slap in the face for real writers. (I make an exception for Jamie Lee Curtis’ Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born which I recall as being very good. I would hope her other books are also worthwhile.)

If you write AND illustrate, you get both sides of the royalty. I don’t illustrate, so I “share” the royalties with the illustrators who do the art.

If you are lucky enough for your book to win big awards or it gets a lot of attention or somehow just sells really well, then your royalty checks can be pretty darn decent. For example, I’ve had good luck whenever my books end up on one of the Scholastic book club flyers.

In fact, I may be pretty happy next October. I noticed on my royalty statement that Scholastic has turned my “Hello” series of easy readers into board books. Hello, Fire Truck! was in the October Honeybee book club, which gave today’s check a nice little bump. Hello, Freight Train! was in the February Honeybee book club. They morphed Hello, School Bus! into Hello, City Bus! and it’s in this month’s Honeybee book club. So, I’ll have book club royalties for two books in my next check. Woo hoo!

Anyway, these pages have to do with How I Made Money Today and, since this is one of the ways I made some, I’m writing about it. For me, royalties are a “stream of income” as they say (although not a very big one). Same goes for the rental income we make, but that’s much more substantial – more of a small river.

I love to write, but I don’t really like to write about writing. For me, it turns writing from a creative endeavour into work. So, that’s why I don’t have a blog about writing and publishing for children, although I do have a website (

But, if you’re interested in blogs or websites about writing, you’re lucky. There are lots of good ones out there. You can start with my good friend Denise’s at 

Maybe someday you’ll get a royalty check, albeit small, too!

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