The Average Earnings of Authors

A Writer's Path


It is a frequent occurrence in the news to hear about authors cutting multi-million (or even billion) dollar book or movie deals. Famous examples of ridiculously successful authors, such as J.K. Rowling, E. L. James, and Stephen King, often lead people to think that becoming an author will undoubtedly lead to an equally as lucrative outcome. However, it turns out that the average author makes much, much less.

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2 thoughts on “The Average Earnings of Authors

  1. Self-publishing is a two-edged sword for writers as a group. It provides many opportunities that otherwise would not exist; but at the same time, it lowers the overall earnings for writers as a group. I think that’s because there is absolutely no quality control in self-publishing. It’s true that “real” publishers sometimes publish books that are so awful, they could dry up ponds. But compared to the self-published books I’ve read, published-for-money generally ensures better quality.

    And for the record, my earnings are nothing to write home about. I couldn’t afford a stamp.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are some gems among the self published authors, I usually consult the book blogs I trust to find some and I find others by random luck on the social media. The self published authors who make decent money put an extraordinary effort in the marketing. They join local book events, take a lot of time to find active goodreads reviewers who reviews books in their genre, invest time and energy to find book blogs who aren’t too swamped, organize book launch parties, etc. T successful authors published by small press do pretty much the same. Even a bigger name in the SFF genre like Kameron Hurley, who won every prestigious genre awaard you can name labored day and night to get the word out there cause her sales numbers were very low in the beginning. I wrote a blog post about that featuring quotes from the blog article where she told the whole story. It’s titled ‘The Ugly Truth About Book Sales’ and one of my most read blog posts.

      It’s jungle out there and those who put up a fight get somewhere in the end.


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