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Professional Development – How to Read a Royalty Statement

18 October @ 10:00 - 11:30 BST

Virtual Event Virtual Event

Deciphering your royalty statement can be a frustrating task, particularly when royalty clauses and forms of sale are more complex than ever.

This SoA @ Home event, run by our Head of the Contracts Advisory Team, Sarah Burton, and our Head of Finance, Katharine King, will unpack how to read your statement alongside your publishing contract and break down opaque terminology. We’ll also discuss what to do if you think something isn’t right.

Please note this session won’t be able to address specific queries about individual author statements, but please contact our advisory team for one-to-one advice.




  • Welcome, introductions and housekeeping from Catherine Fuller (5 mins)
  • Presentation by Sarah Burton and Katharine King (45 mins)
  • Comfort break (5 mins)
  • Q&A with audience (20 mins)
  • Summary and closing comments (5 mins)


Who is this workshop for?

Anyone who finds their royalty statements confusing, new and experienced authors alike.


What will this workshop cover?

  • The role of your publishing contract when it comes to reading royalty statements
  • What information you can expect to find on your statement
  • How royalties are calculated
  • Understanding terminology such as high discounts, ‘reserve against returns’, special sales
  • What to do if you think your royalties are incorrect
  • Questions to ask your publisher
  • How audits work
  • Amazon statements for self-publishers


Send us your questions in advance

If you would like to send questions in advance, email [email protected] with ‘Royalty Statement’ in the subject header. We will prioritise questions sent in advance and answer as many as we can from the audience on the day.


SoA @ Home Fundraising Bookshop

Browse our virtual Bookshop.org store featuring books by authors and speakers taking part in the SoA @ Home Festival. When you make a purchase using our affiliate links a percentage will go to the Authors’ Contingency Fund, providing hardship grants to authors in financial difficulty.


The line -up


Sarah Burton – Head of Advisory Team and Senior Contracts Advisor, SoA

Sarah Burton is Head of the SoA’s Contracts Advisory Team and Co-Coordinator of CWIG.


Katharine King – Head of Finance, SoA

Katharine joined the SoA in 2019. She is responsible for all financial reporting of the organisation and manages the finances of 20 funds. She is also responsible for overseeing the annual audits, tax, payroll, compliance and dealing with all financial requests.


Catherine Fuller – Projects Manager & Senior Contracts Advisor

Catherine Manages special projects for the SoA including the recent property move and Management Committee elections. She is also Group Coordinator for the Translators Association and advises on translation contracts.



Need to know

Before the event
  • Once registered, you will be sent a confirmation email with the Zoom link
  • If the confirmation email doesn’t arrive in your inbox, please check your junk/spam email folder
  • Please add [email protected] to your Safe Senders list so you receive our confirmation, and reminder emails
During the event
  • This online event will take place on Zoom Webinar; you will not be visible on screen but will be able ask questions via the Q&A function or interact via the chat box
  • This event will be recorded but you won’t be on screen
  • Attendees have the option to turn on the live transcript option
  • This event is 90 minutes
After the event
  • Hashtag for this event: #SoAatHome
  • You’ll be able to catch the recording on our Vimeo channel



Book your place by using the registration below.

All #SoAatHome events are free but if you can afford to, please consider donating to our Authors’ Contingency Fund and we suggest a minimum donation of £5. The fund is to help professional authors experiencing financial hardship. DONATE HERE


Accordion Content

Financial support for authors in need through the health crisis and beyond

Since March 2020, the Authors’ Contingency Fund has distributed over £1 million in small grants to authors facing financial hardship due to COVID-19.

With at least 57% of authors facing financial losses during the pandemic, we have helped people struggling financially due to contractual, employment and event cancellations, others who have lost income due to illness, and others prevented from working because of caring responsibilities.

As the health crisis continues, applications for grants continue to come in, and our emergency funds are running low.

So, if you are in a position to help, please donate via the link below. If you are an author facing financial hardship, please click here to see if we can help.


Accordion Content

20% off your first year with discount code SOAFESTIVAL20

The Society of Authors is the UK’s biggest trade union for authors – representing more than 11,300 writers, illustrators, translators and other creative practitioners.

Our standard subscription rate is just £26.25 per quarter (£18.50 for students).

As an SoA member, you’ll get:

  • Access to all our SoA @ Home Festival events for free
  • Unlimited one-to-one professional advice
  • Membership of our online and real-world professional networks
  • A range of member-only discounts, including books, insurance and travel
  • And much more.



18 October
10:00 - 11:30 BST
Event Category:
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Sarah Burton
[email protected]