With a 10% fee, an author who writes a $10 book and sells 20,000 copies receives $20,000 in royalties. Most novels, in actuality, sell less than 5,000 copies. The $5,000 royalties from these sales is insufficient to support an author for even a single year, although many authors spend years producing a single book. In fact, the majority of writers depend on some form of supplementary income.
The $6 million mark was easily surpassed with the release of Lee's third novel, A Man Without Honor. The book sold more than 40,000 copies within its first week on sale and went on to become one of the best-selling books of all time. Its sales have been estimated at between 70 and 80 million copies worldwide, making it one of the most popular English language novels by any writer other than J. K. Rowling (the Harry Potter series).
Of course, not every writer who has sold more than one million copies does so because they are talented or good writers; many of them are merely famous names that appeal to the general public. However, there are also many unknown writers who have sold hundreds of thousands of copies around the world. These authors tend to work independently without using an agent or publisher and write about subjects that will appeal to a wide audience. Some examples include romance novels, science fiction, and crime fiction.
As far as salary goes, it depends on how many books you write and sell.
The average author does not make a lot of money. The average book author earns little more than the minimum wage. You will be paid an advance as well as 10% of the net revenues from each book. If your book costs $25 per copy, you'll need to sell at least 4,000 copies to recoup your $5,000 advance. However, there are authors who make a great deal of money. Stephen King makes about $500,000 for each of his novels. James Patterson's books have sold more than 150 million copies worldwide.
Doing research for my books has given me many good ideas for stories. I think anyone can write a book if they put their mind to it. All you need is a love of literature and a desire to share your views with others.
Writing a book is a huge undertaking that requires patience, diligence, and passion. It can be a lonely job too because you're usually on your own until you find readers who want to buy your book. But if you are willing to work hard and long hours, then writing a book is a profession that can lead to riches.
ROYALTIES ON RETAIL SALES If your royalty is 10% of the retail price, you will receive $2.00 each book. If your book sells 5,000 copies, you may hypothetically earn $10,000. However, since retailers often take a loss on books they sell, your actual earnings might be less.
PROCEEDS FROM Copyright royalties are based on a work's copyright term plus its renewal term (which can be another fixed length of time or a renewable one). A work enters the public domain after either its copyright expires or it is abandoned by its author. Works created before 1978 were originally granted the life of the author plus 50 years. For works published in or after 1978, the default term is currently the life of the artist plus 70 years. So a photographer's archive would be expected to reach the public domain in 2068 at the earliest. If the author renews his or her copyright, then the new license will cover another 40 years after publication.
The proceeds from sales of printed editions and other published works are usually shared with authors and artists who have created the work. Royalties are paid by the publisher on behalf of the author or artist. The type of contract used by publishers to secure rights for their products varies but generally includes a percentage of the revenue generated by the sale of the publication.
Given regular contract royalties, an author selling 20,000 $25 volumes would make $65,625 in the first week on the "New York Times" best-seller list. This isn't the millions that famous authors make, but if the book continues to sell, these revenues may build up to a sizable income.
The New York Times best-seller list is probably the most recognized sales ranking of books across all genres and countries. It is published weekly online and in print. Sales rankings are calculated based on data provided by publishers and record companies.
In addition to contract royalties, best-selling authors can earn large amounts from speaking engagements, television appearances, and other forms of entertainment promotion.
For example, John Grisham has been widely reported to make $200,000 for each of his novels that hits the best-seller list. However, this amount includes a percentage of the retail price of the book.
If we assume that he earns only $100 per hour, which is fairly typical for a professional writer, then the total cost of producing one of his books is about $60,000. This means that the remaining $140,000 goes straight into his pocket!
Even if we assume that he works on another novel while earning this huge amount, it will still take him nearly two years to save up the money.