No New News: Authors Are Earning Below the Poverty Line


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“You have to find some kind of stable job in the market. It’s a rat race, Erica. In fact, you like computers so much- choose technology.”

“Dad, I wanna write.”

“It will not be enough, Erica.”

Years later I am looking at this recent article about “Authors Earning Below the Poverty Line

So, who wants to be a writer?

Apparently those who are so brave and hopeful. We are definitely the pen warriors because I bet the daunting statistics I am about to reveal to you from the Publishers Weekly below will not even scare you.

Check this out from PW:

The survey also indicated that not only are many authors earning little, they are, since 2009, also earning less. Overall, the median writing-related income among respondents dropped from $10,500 in 2009 to $8,000 2014 in 2014, a decline of 24%. The decline came for both full-time and part-time authors with full-time authors reporting a 30% drop in income to $17,500 and part-time authors seeing a 38% decrease, to $4,500.

Not much to live on considering rent, mortgage, food, other bills, and other things.

All of a sudden what dad was trying to tell makes so much sense. He never told me to stop writing, he told me to choose an adequate major. I didn’t. I chose social science instead. It gets me by sometimes, but it is not great in the long run of things.

So now the conversation turns into this: Is this where being an independent author balances things out? Does it matter?

According to what I know of self publishing it can be costly paying for your own editor and designer, etc.

Being trad published is also. You still have to procure your editor and you earn less in royalties compared to being self published.

I could be wrong in all this.

But truth be told, it kind of helps to have a side job in this economy. I love having different jobs that force me to exercise a different “muscle”. Perhaps my next job will involve banking, or public relations, fashion.

It will make for a good story.

Until then, I am still a big promoter of Indie books. In fact some of the books I review are found on Wattpad and Smashwords  and have thousands of fans and reviews.

Thoughts on this?

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