Self-published authors can earn between 40% and 60% royalties on a single book sale, whereas professionally published authors typically earn between 10% and 12% royalties. First-time authors who wish to publish conventionally can receive a $10,000 advance (usually not that much more for a first-timer). After paying the publisher some percentage of that amount, an author will have enough money left over to cover expenses for marketing the book and any additional work they may want to produce.
The more books an author sells, the greater their chance of earning big money. For example, James Patterson has reportedly made more than $100 million since starting out with only one novel sold in 1987. He continues to write many books each year that are usually bestsellers.
Other famous self-published authors include J.K. Rowling, Anne Rice, and Stephen King. Many more people could be listed, but you get the idea!
So, how does an author sell so many books and make such a large amount of money? Through hard work and marketing, of course! Authors should start by writing about what they know best - this will help attract readers - then they should let others know about their work through social media, newsletter subscriptions, and word of mouth. The more ways there are to reach an audience, the better.
Traditional publishing, on the other hand, does not begin to pay royalties until you have sold $10,000 worth of books at your royalty rate. So, if your royalty rate is 10%, then you would need to sell $100,000 in order to make any real money from your effort.
The good news is that there are many ways to get your book out into the world without spending lots of money. Self-publishing has become a viable option for anyone who wants to put out their own work and not be subject to arbitrary deadlines or suppression of their creative voice. Many small presses that specialize in finding new voices and supporting emerging artists offer discounts to authors who agree to review some of their products. In addition, there are many online venues where you can post your work for free or inexpensively, such as Wikipedia and social networking sites like Facebook.
It's important to remember that how much you make depends on how much you're willing to risk, what type of advance you accept, and how you market yourself and your book. But even with all of that uncertainty, it's still possible to make good money as a first-time author.
"Career stage is important!" The typical first-time author earns roughly $600. Self-published authors make far less than officially published authors, while some claim to trade book sales for school visits. School visits can be fun and exciting - but also expensive. The average cost of a tour is about $10,000 with expenses including travel, food, and lodging. A top university professor said that he spent as much as $50,000 on research for his books alone.
Traditional publishers typically pay authors roughly $1.25 per book in royalties. So, if your book sells for $20, you'll make slightly more than a $1. You don't have to be a mathematician to understand that you need to sell a lot of books to make a fair living with a traditional publisher.
Self-published authors usually earn less than $100,000 per year. The median income for an author is about $25,000.
The good news is the amount an agent or manager gets paid depends on how many books they represent. So, if an agent or manager can get you five books deals, they could make up to $50,000. But, only some agents are successful at getting their clients multiple book deals. And, even if they do, that doesn't mean that everyone they represent will also be offered multiple contracts.
In addition, managers and agents take a percentage of the royalty payments they negotiate. So, if an agent or manager can get you a 10% deal, which is common for best-selling authors, they would take half of your royalty payment. That means they would pocket $112.50 from the $150,000 your book makes.
Finally, some publishers will pay authors a flat fee for managing their careers. These fees usually range from $10,000 to $80,000.
An author who writes a $10 book and sells 20,000 copies earns $20,000 with a 10% royalty. Most novels, in actuality, sell less than 5,000 copies. The $5,000 royalties from these sales does not cover even a single year's expenses, although many authors spend years creating one book.
The real earnings of an author depend on several factors, including but not limited to: popularity of the subject matter, quality of writing, marketing skills, and access to the market. For example, an unknown writer could possibly earn more than an established one due to higher sales percentages.
In most cases, the first-time author earns less than $60,000 over five years or less because the work is not yet profitable. However, some authors have reported earning up to $250,000 per year. The number one reason why authors can't afford to write books is because they don't earn enough money. Writing a book is a long process that doesn't produce income immediately. It takes time to build up a readership and sales volume before becoming profitable.
Many authors choose to write multiple books as self-publishing becomes more popular and costs decrease. Some authors write one book a year while others write three or more books within a year. It all depends on their creativity and what they feel like writing at the time.