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  • Qwerty

    “Survey shows half of all self-published authors earn less than $500″

    I wonder whether that’s true of traditionally published Canadian authors too. According to the article, “the average amount earned by DIY authors last year was just $10,000″.

    According to a Writer’s Union document (quoting a Q&Q survey), “the average net professional income of Canadian freelance book and periodical writers was measured at $11,480 in 1998″. Not much difference between the average income in that survey and the self-published group.

  • Guest

    Qwerty, first, yes, published authors make far more than $500 a year. Advances alone put them above that amount. Even in Canada.

    Second, you cite earnings from 1998 — already, those earnings are higher than the “average” of self-published authors nearly 15 years later. Plus, you’re citing numbers from Canada, which is a small market. 

    Third, that “$10,000 average” is an average, and it’s skewed high because of big-selling high-profile names — the “big money” is upper echelon (top 10%). The earnings are actually spread out more among authors with traditional publishers.

    Fourth, the authors who earn any money at all self-publishing — as the survey shows — are those who spend money on such things as editing and marketing. That eats into your earnings a fair bit.

    Fifth, the survey was a voluntary one, and a higher response rate should be expected from those who have done well, because those people want to trumpet the success of self-publishing. People who have had no success at all are less likely to respond. I’m surprised the numbers are as bleak as they are, frankly.

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