"..."The Art of Fielding," which sold for an estimated advance of $675,000, a handsome sum. Given the costs, Little, Brown might struggle to make a profit. If all 30,000 hardcovers in print are sold, it will generate about $390,000 for the publisher, based on a retail price of $25.99. If, as some other debut fiction novels did this year, it sells 42% of total sales in e-book format, that will add $197,500 of revenue for the publisher, based on a retail price of $12.99. That brings the total to $587,500, although paperbacks and audiobooks will also generate revenue."
Wow, that is an amazing sum for the advance, given a first printing of just 30,000. I have had books that sold more than 30,000 hardcovers, but never a one-book advance like that. I wonder if Little, Brown is happy with that?
And as commenter N. Werlin says (I'm guessing Nancy Werlin): "The example given seems to imply that all the publisher has to accomplish with sales is to recoup the $675,000 advance given to the author and then it will be in the black. Not so! The publisher must also cover all its own costs: editorial, book production, marketing and PR, shipping, etc. These are not small."
Read more here.
And back in 2006, WSJ took a look at The Interpretation of Murder, which sold for $800K (N. American rights only) and sold less than 13,000 copies in 19 days, according to Bookscan. Read more here.