When Money Talks…or Doesn’t
There are four ways I’ve learned that authors make money. They get an advance from the publishing company. Understand the word. It is an advance, not a gift or a signing bonus. An advance has to be paid back. A large advance might sound exciting, but in fact means it may be a long time before the author ever receives any more money. Authors get royalties on their books that sell. If, for instance, the author receives a 10% royalty on her book that sells for $25, she receives $2.50. The third way an author makes money ....
Ebooks and self- publishing have opened the bank doors for authors who make money negotiating the Amazon puzzles. They manipulate stats with pre orders, give away free downloads, and other assorted methods, all legal. They invest money in the production of their book hoping to recover the cost plus profit. I have author friends who do this and they are making money. I also know some who had unfortunate experiences.
When I speak to kids at schools about their future writing careers, I encourage them to write and to hope for a great book. But, I also tell them the realities of a writing career.
Yes, you need an education. You need a vocabulary. You need to understand the language, the dynamics of words, use proper grammar and spelling. The texting vocab isn’t going to get you there. Then there is the time investment. It takes time to write a good book. If I actually kept track of my hours, clocked in and clocked out, from day one to submission of a small middle grade or YA, my hourly earning is less than minimum wage. So be prepared, that at least in the beginning, it will be your second job. You have to have an income.
You don’t become an author because you want to make a lot of money. You become an author because you have something to say. You love books more than money. You have a cause. You love literature and you want to share that love. You want your characters to impact a life, make a difference to someone. You want to bring something good and worthwhile to readers, write something with lasting value. You write because you love to do it; it is the gift God gave you to share. If writing is to be your life, there are many forms that writing can take, many job opportunities. Being an author is only one way. And you probably won’t get rich.
There are roughly 800,000 new books published every year. The average sales in the U. S. for a nonfiction book is 250 copies a year. Money can’t be the motivation