I’ve been asked this twice recently:
WHAT DO AUTHORS REALLY MAKE?
I’m going to express myself as calmly as possible, because my opinions on this topic are strong. I’m going to try to prove to the new authors/small authors/ frustrated authors that not everyone is making zillions of dollars and selling movie rights.
This is a myth. Just like most people believe I’m a size 2 and several inches taller, they think 6 figures a year pass into my bank account. I’m only telling you the truth because I know how much it sucks to believe you’re the only one working hard for such a long time before you see results.
FACT: Most authors earn less than $400 a month.
They don’t call writers starving artists for nothing. Only the top 9% of all authors actually make 5 figures a year. Did you know that? The industry is a hard one to earn in, but if you’re doing it for the right reasons, you’ll make a go of it eventually. What are the right reasons?
You love writing. You can’t stop, and you’re driven to share your stories with the world, even if it’s 5 book sales a month.
Authors have heard a shit-ton of overnight success stories. We’re raised on them, sucking on them in our infancy of publication. We want those things to happen to us. But frankly, the chances are slim. Just like these chances:
Some singers never have given a public performance then go on The Voice and win the whole competition.
Some people who played Powerball only one time hit millions.
Some authors write a book in two weeks, throw it up on Amazon unedited, and sell 10k copies in a weekend (seen this)
I know authors who have made 5 figures on a book they’ve never spent a single day promoting. I’ve also seen a lot of authors finally get there through massive promotional efforts. Blood, sweat and tears, baby! I’m here to tell you that hard work will pay off eventually.
So my opinion is sometimes you hit the lottery with the very first ticket. Sometimes you buy ticket after ticket, writing more and better books. Over time, you might win $10 here, $25 there. You might win big too, and become one of those success stories.
The important thing is DO WHAT YOU LOVE and keep trying. Eventually the money will come. But if you stop buying tickets, you’ll never win.