Advance and Royalties

A book publisher pays an advance when signing a publishing agreement with an author (or artist) for the rights to publish your book. 

An advance is a sum of money (usually half is given when you sign a contract, and half is given when you submit the manuscript), and it is generally applied against (deducted from) royalties, subsidiary rights income, and other sums due the publisher. Think of an advance as cash given to you before your book starts making money. Until your advance has earned out, you won't receive royalties from your book sales.