In her article, “Good Agents Audit Royalty Statements,” Kristin Nelson (President, Nelson Literary Agency) writes that over the past decade, careful auditing by her agency has recovered over $600,000 for her clients. “Even now, nary an accounting period goes by that we don’t recover at least $500 to $3,000 owed to a client.”
She also states this jaw-dropping fact: A good percentage of agents do not audit their clients’ royalty statements.
I wanted to know how many of my author friends’ agents audit their statements, and how many of these authors also audit their own, so I took an informal survey. The authors who responded are split between midlist and bestsellers. Almost all said they read their royalty statements carefully. But nearly half don’t audit their statements–mainly because they don’t know how.