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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Ahead of the Curve, But a Long Way to Go

I recently read an interesting article in Galleycat that compared the levels of income made by various types of authors. Their information was taken from Digital Book World. Here's the chart I found most interesting.



It might be a little difficult to interpret. The four bars are different types of authors. I'm not sure how aspiring authors make anything... but I suppose some people label themselves as aspiring even if they make a little money. The blue color is the percent of authors in each category that make nothing. As in $0.00 a year. Zero. One would expect that for aspiring authors. But look at the blue color in the Self-published bar. It's 20%. That's a fifth of all self-published authors who make not one penny from all their work. (And it's almost that many for traditionally published authors- getting a publisher does not guarantee money.)

Now look at that pukey-green color. It's the biggest band of color for the Self-published authors. It goes all the way up to about 78%. Now subtract out the 20% that make nothing, and 58% of indie authors make something, but less than $1000 a year. I guess that's ok if you want to write for a hobby, but it's not even a dent in any kind of income to sustain a person.

So the blue and green together show authors who make under $1000 a year. That is over 50% of traditionally published authors. That suddenly doesn't look so magical, does it. Those who are hybrids- use both self publishing and publishing companies manage to drop that to about 45%, but still not great. For complete indies it's almost 80%.

I think there's an error on the chart for the next band. The band-aid color is the next one up, but in the legend it's pale blue. I suspect the legend is wrong. So look at the band-aid band (who chose those colors, anyway?). This is authors who make between $1000 and $2000 a year. For indies, it's about 10%. And it's the band where I fit.

I'm very encouraged by this. Sure, I'd like to be higher. My goal at the moment is to be in the orange band, but I had no idea that I'm already doing better than about 80% of self-published authors.

Thanks to all my readers, editors, promoters, and fans for getting me there!

You can read the entire article at Most Authors Make Less Than $1,000 a Year: DBW


1 comment:

The Furry Gnome said...

Well congratulations! Better than 80% eh, that seems pretty good to me! Really encouraging, and an interesting chart.