People expect that a J.K. Rowling book will produce at least $5 million in royalties, so you give her a $5 million advance on those royalties. You're giving her a payment on her royalties in advance of actually seeing those sales.
But you do expect them.
You don't pay her fresh royalties until the royalties she generates exceeds the initial advance on royalties you paid her.
When she makes $5 million and one hundred dollars, you send her a fresh check for one hundred dollars.
When these major media conglomerates, all left-leaning and most with business before the government, give millions to Hillary Clinton and Hunter Biden and Andrew Cuomo, there is no one at that company that expects the books will ever make that much in royalties.
They're just payoffs. Or disguised political donations.
It's not an "advance" if you cannot show a plausible stream of sales which will meet or exceed that "advance."
The publishers are making multi-million dollar political contributions to Leftists and the politicians receiving those advances are accepting bribes. This is outright political corruption and should be illegal.
No "advances" for serving politicians, declared politicians who are running, or any politician ten years after his term of service ends. They can just take their royalty checks as royalties actually accrue.
Seven years ago, on the eve of being elected to a second term as governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo completed a rite of passage familiar to all presidential aspirants: He published a memoir, All Things Possible. It is overlong at more than 550 pages, cliché-ridden, and hopelessly dull, which is to say a standard-issue political tome. Cuomo was paid a more than $700,000 advance by HarperCollins, and the book had an announced initial print run of 200,000. But five months after it was published, it had sold just over 3,000 copies in hardcover and 13 audiobooks. Even by the dismal standards of the subgenre of books by politicians, this was a flop—based on a conservative estimate of the governor’s advance, Cuomo earned about $200 for every hardcover sold.
For most authors, a sales track record like this would be the kiss of death. Disastrous debuts are rarely rewarded with lucrative follow-up book deals. But despite the abysmal failure of All Things Possible, Cuomo published a follow-up, American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the Pandemic last fall. According to The New York Times, the bidding process for that book “ended with a high offer of more than $4 million,” a figure in line with earlier reporting suggesting that Cuomo had been paid an advance in the low-to-mid seven figures.
But the author pretends ignorance of the obvious: everyone knows that this was a bribe by a corporation that wanted to give money to a politician they support. So they gave him a big check, evading the law against political contributions disguised as an "advance," knowing that they would never recover the bribe in royalties.