It seems everyone is an author nowadays, what with ebooks being seen as an easy way to get rich. But is writing the road to riches?
Not according to a May, 2012 article in the Guardian newspaper.
A survey of 1,007 self-published writers – one of the most comprehensive insights into the growing market to date (Dave Cornford and Steven Lewis carried out the survey) – found that while a small percentage of authors were bringing in sums of $100,000-plus in 2011, average earnings were just $10,000 a year. This amount, however, is significantly skewed by the top earners, with less than 10% of self-publishing authors earning about 75% of the reported revenue and half of writers earning less than $500.
Romance authors earned 170% more than their peers, while authors in other genres fared much worse: science-fiction writers earned 38% of the $10,000 average, fantasy writers 32%, and literary fiction authors just 20% of the $10,000 average.
“It shouldn’t have surprised me that 75% of the royalty pie is going to 10% of authors: that’s life in many industries. If I’m being honest, though, I’d hoped self-publishing might be a bit more democratic. Someone asked me if I thought this might deter authors from self-publishing, but actors don’t stop heading for Hollywood despite the odds against them, Lewis told the Guardian. There’s more to being a successful author than finding the ‘Save and publish’ button on Amazon, but there are a lot of authors who haven’t realized that yet. In that sense, the low earnings were not surprising.”
You may read the full article at the Guardian web site here.