Definition: Writers, artists, photographers and other creative professionals are often paid in royalties, which is calculated as a portion of sales of a final product, such as a book, CD, magazine, etc. When the work the artists produce or contribute to is sold, a publisher will award a previously agreed upon percentage of the total sales to artist or artists. Royalties are commonly used by publishers to pay authors, musicians, artists and freelancers. Royalties may also be paid as an advance against future earnings, or in addition to other fees/expenses paid. Royalties are usually negotiable.