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Inaccurate and Inefficient: A Royalty Manager’s Burden

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a royalties manager in possession of a few hundred sales files must be in want of an automated royalties system.

Regency-style royalty manager looking for her royalty statements

We may never know if bestselling author Jane Austen queried her annual statement with a beleaguered sales & royalties manager (Austen scholars, stand down). However, for the sake of this informative blog-turned-fan-fiction, let’s suppose that she did. We can also suppose that the statements and ledgers were handwritten. Truly, a chilling thought but, unfortunately, a practice that outlived Austen and continued well into the 21st century.


There’s little that is inspiring about our story’s title: and yet ‘inaccurate’ and ‘inefficient’ are apt descriptors of some approaches to royalties management in modern day publishing. Whether it be lack of resourcing, time or the overwhelming scale of the project, they all present major roadblocks for our protagonists in the finance team.


Let’s take a figurative turn about the room and explore what a more hopeful tale might look like with an effective system such as Biblio Royalties. While it may offer little in the way of drama for our dear readers, you may be relieved to hear that we can finally bring this hackneyed Austen metaphor to a satisfying close.


World-leading publishers - including Bonnier Books UK, DK Verlag, Harvard University Press, Macmillan Publishers, Nieuw Amsterdam, Princeton University Press, Walker Books and Candlewick Press, and Quirk Books - have already chosen Biblio Royalties and/or the Royalty Portal to optimize their royalties workflows.


Biblio Royalties is specifically designed for the publishing industry - which is overburdened by disparate legacy systems, paper statements and clunky spreadsheets. The system is capable of handling complex royalty calculations and payments for both physical and digital content, and is complemented by the Biblio Suite’s Royalty Portal which offers publishers a secure, online platform for sharing royalty statements with authors and agents.


Here are some of the reasons why Biblio Royalties is the system of choice for so many publishers:


1. Trust and Transparency


"The ability to deliver royalty statements online will help us in our continued efforts to reduce our carbon footprint, while also providing authors with easy, immediate access to statements for current and previous periods. The ease of use saves us time and effort."

Megan DiPasquale, Director of Finance and Operations, Quirk Books


Author care is essential to securing and maintaining long-term and fruitful partnerships. With the right tools, you can bring an end to misunderstandings and financial frustrations. Launched in 2021, the Biblio Royalty Portal can be accessed anywhere and provides authors and agents with access to recent and historical statements. The delivery of electronic statements greatly reduces the time, costs and manual effort required.


Find out more about how the Royalty Portal can help your publishing house to securely share its royalty statements online by watching our latest video which includes a technology summary, information about how the Royalty Portal integrates with Biblio, and a system demonstration:



In addition, Biblio Royalties is fully integrated and draws directly from the rights and rules granted in the author’s head contract, thereby eliminating the risk of potentially costly and embarrassing errors. Authors and agents can be secure in the knowledge that their statements are accurate; and publishers reap the rewards of real-time data with their reputations intact.


2. Ingestion and Interfacing


“Our Rights and Royalties requirements are highly complex and need to work across multiple countries and currencies. We identified the need to have a hosted system that could be seamlessly integrated with SAP financials.”

Fritz Foy, Executive Vice President, Macmillan Publishers


Having a highly-configurable, fully-integrated system is paramount to managing both the rights and royalties workflows. Without such a system, information becomes disparate and can easily be lost in the void, somewhere between the multiple systems in place. To address this common issue, Biblio has a sales mapping tool which publishers can take advantage of to automatically ingest multiple sales reports from various distributors. Reports can be scheduled to run automatically and be delivered to both email addresses and external systems.


Publishing is a global business and publishers need a system capable of handling a range of variables. Biblio Royalties’ advanced royalty calculations can track multi-currency advances and deductions, joint accounting across several titles, and create unlimited rules capable of tracking earnings across formats, markets and multiple discount bands.


3. Empowerment and Efficiency


“With Virtusales, we have found a scalable, yet integrated Royalties and Rights solution that encompasses everything we need for centralizing and streamlining our processes. This solution will eliminate the need for different software systems and provide accurate and speedy reporting, allowing us to make better decisions with a new level of confidence.”

Dan Wackrow, CFO, Harvard University Press


Biblio’s advanced reporting engine processes the most complex royalty calculations on a daily basis, across multiple currencies, enabling publishers to deliver a full period-end royalty run in record time. Finance colleagues can therefore allocate more time to credit control, sales analysis and forecasting, confident in the knowledge that Biblio’s optimized royalties workflow will handle the rest.


In turn, the royalty run (and all the data it contains) is then accessible via the Biblio Suite, enabling colleagues throughout the business to make better, informed decisions, save time and reduce the volume of royalties-related queries and emails.


If you’d like to find out more about how Biblio can add value to your business, contact us to speak to one of our publishing specialists or to arrange a demo.

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