Skip to content

FAQ for authors and editors

Our editorial teams are on hand to answer any questions you may have about the publishing process. However, here are the most frequently asked questions and their time-saving answers, including your questions about royalties and author contract terms and conditions.

  • Publishing with De Gruyter
  • Accessing your work
  • Orders and purchases

Royalties for authors and editors

How are royalties calculated?

Each royalty recipient for a title receives from the publisher a statement of sales royalties, which usually consist of a percentage of the net proceeds. The net proceeds are defined as the list price, or for online use the user fee, minus any statutory tax included in this price and any discounts. The royalty statement encompasses each revenue stream from all sales channels, e.g. eBook packages, consortium sales, and aggregators. Royalties are not generated for inspection copies, deposit copies, or free copies.

What is the difference between ‘copies sold’ and ‘subject to royalty’ on the royalty statement?

Copies are subject to royalty only if they have been distributed against revenue (not inspection, deposit, or free copies). Some contracts stipulate a threshold, such as payment from the 250th copy sold. This can result in copies being sold but not subject to royalty.

How are eBook revenues / eBook packages calculated?

All package and consortia revenues are divided amongst the individual titles which make up the package. This means that the revenues for a single title can be well below the retail price of a book, as libraries and institutions receive discounts for package deals.

When will I receive payment of my sales royalties?

The sales fees for the respective previous year are transferred during the second quarter of the following year. Due to the high volume of payments the transfer is done in several stages, meaning that all royalties should be transferred by June 30 of the following year. The eight-digit number on your royalty statement is used as the payment reference.

Why are negative sums for sales sometimes shown (Print)?

The number of returned copies and their revenues are subtracted from the number of copies sold, which can result in a negative number of copies and/or a negative sum.

Why are negative sums shown (eBook)?

Any credit notes for eBook packages are shown as negative sums on the royalty statement. This can happen when an eBook was part of a yearly package but must be removed due to delayed publication. Every transaction amount for a title is included in the royalty statement.

What are the discounts offered on a title and why are these not shown in detail?

Discounts are negotiated individually with trade customers. Titles which have been sold at an author discount or included in packages or consortium deals are also included in the royalty calculation. The consolidated sum of these sales is shown on the royalty statement. Unfortunately, an individual breakdown of all sales positions is not feasible from an administrative standpoint.

Why are the revenues or prices shown for eBooks so low?

In order to reach the largest possible audience with our titles, we have agreements with so-called aggregators. Aggregators are service providers that offer digital content from several publishers to customers on a needs-driven basis, for purchase as individual documents, entire titles, or as a subscription. This usage is often on a granular level and can be chapter- or even page-based. The revenues are assigned to the ISBNs of the individual titles, which can result in very small sums. Every transaction amount for a title is included in the royalty statement, even cent amounts.

Why are sums under € 100 not paid out?

As of 2016, sums of less than € 100 will be paid out within SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area). Unfortunately, the fees for transferring small amounts outside SEPA are very high, making such transfers economically unfeasible. Sums under € 100 will be credited to your account and collected until the total amount reaches € 100. Unfortunately, it is not possible to use this amount as credit for ordering books.

Why does it say ‘Zahlung per Scheck / Payment per Check’ on my statement? When will I receive the check?

This is an outdated classification which has not yet been corrected for all royalty recipients.

The royalty sum will be paid out by wire transfer, provided you have submitted your bank account information. We do not remit payment by check.

What do the numbers in parentheses mean?

Should you see a number in parentheses behind the sales figures as of December 31 (31.12.), this refers collectively to all product types for that title (print, eBook, paperback if applicable, new editions if applicable). This is not the case for every statement; you do not need to worry if you do not see any numbers in parentheses.

Why do I see an amount for license fees on my royalty statement?

You will receive a share of any license fees that our Rights & Licenses Department has earned for your title. This includes licensed use (for example in university course packs) but also translations or requests to reprint. Even if your author contract does not include sales royalties, you are still entitled to license fees and will receive a statement of these fees.

What should I consider if I am not a resident of Germany?

If you are not a resident of Germany, you are liable for payment of withholding tax, which will be withheld directly by the foreign tax authorities.

The double taxation agreement regulates the amount of these taxes. You should apply for an exemption if you exceed a total annual limit of € 5,000. Without a certificate of exemption, we will be forced to deduct the statutory taxes.

Downloaded on 6.6.2023 from
Scroll to top button