It is the dream. To see your name on the cover of a book. Sign your name on the inside for some adoring fan. It is the dream. So, how much money can you make writing a book?
Online writing has taken over the world of writing and believe you me, I am on that bandwagon full force. But my dream of seeing a book I wrote, on a shelf somewhere, is still there. I like to write children’s picture books. I love the idea of some little kid snuggled up with their mom or dad saying, “Read it again!”
Awww…..that image makes me smile.
Even though I am creating my writing life online, I still have a book or books inside me. I also wonder how much money is out there for true book writers.
Being a book writer is not a 9-5 job. Nor is it a salary position unless you work for a publishing firm and write books only for them. Most book writers bleed on their laptops or typewriters until they make a sentence. This could take 10 minutes. This could take 10 years.
First the bad news.
The Author’s Guild did a survey in 2018 of over 5000 authors. They covered different types of writers including traditional and self-published. The bad news is that the average median income is about $6080.00.
Boo. Thumbs down.
This is a huge decline considering in 2007 the average income of an author was $12,850.00.
To make matters worse, the amount of the advances has declined and the way the advance is paid. A book that may have gotten a $50K advance is now only getting a $10k one. The whole amount being paid upfront is now being split into installment plans. Some at the beginning, some in the middle, and some at the end.
Authors are also having to do a lot more of their own marketing and legwork to get the book selling. You would think that this would call for higher advances but it does not.
Why The Decrease In Money?
Is everyone a writer? You can probably throw a rock and hit 5 people who say they are a writer. I am one of those 5 people.
Could this be one of the reasons for the decline?
With so many people choosing writing as a moneymaking path, it is causing a decrease in the art of the work. People are pumping out ebooks and online books by the truckload. With these books come lower royalties and cheap prices. Authors have to write a lot more, a lot quicker, to make a living at their craft.
Or be a celebrity before writing a book. Huge advances and royalties are being paid out to people not because they are great writers. Or have spent years and years perfecting their words. Nope. Just some reality TV star decided to write a book.
I love my kindle. My audiobooks. My unlimited ebooks through my Amazon account. The used books for cheap sold right next to an original for more money. I love them and I also know I am causing the decreased pay.
An author makes the bulk of their money from the royalties off of their book. The things I listed above pay little to none at all.
I am a writer that is cutting my own throat.
I’m not proud of it. I’m also not going to stop.
So what’s an author to do?
Making More Money
The good news is that in today’s world there are lots of ways for author’s to make money. A few ways that author’s are doing this is:
- Speaking engagements
- Writing online content
- Writing for Magazines
- Freelance writing (find out the requirements here)
- Starting their own blogs and monetizing them
More than 57% of full time writers do side hustles to make more money. Some author’s didn’t make any money at all in 2017. See report here.
The numbers don’t look great when it comes to how much money you can make writing books.
The question is, do you still dream of being a book writer?
I know I do. The goal is to see my name on a cover. I’ll worry about the money later.