How much do writers earn?

You’ve heard the stories about amazing book deals, and think the writing life could be cushy, right? Or you think about J K Rowling, and think you could be like that. Or maybe you know better. Writers who make a great living are the exception. A lot of writers need another job or a supportive partner to help augment their income.

Justine Larbalestier, author of How to Ditch Your Fairy (a fantastic fantasy–see my review here) has a great post on how much writers earn. Check it out. You might be surprised.

About Cheryl Rainfield

I write the books I needed and couldn't find as a teen. I write teen fiction--paranormal fantasy and gritty realistic fiction. I'm the author of SCARS (WestSide Books, 2010) #1 ALA QuickPicks, and Governor General Literary Award Finalist, HUNTED (WestSide Books, Oct 2011), STAINED (Harcourt, 2013), The Last Dragon (HIP Books, Sept 2009), and Walking Both Sides (HIP Books, 2011). I also enjoy drawing, surfing the web, connecting with people I like, doing crafts, and being with my dog.
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7 Responses to How much do writers earn?

  1. Madison says:

    My friends are all the time telling me that I’m going to make millions like JK Rowling, and I’m like, yeah right, you should see the REAL rates a writer gets. Not that it’s a bad check, but it’s a far cry from $300 million a year.

    Still, I HOPE I could earn that much someday, but as long as I can earn enough to keep bread on my table and a roof over my head, I’ll be happy. 😀

  2. Cheryl says:

    Madison, it’s good you know the reality of publishing; that way you won’t get shocked when you get your advance!

    I know what you mean about wanting to earn enough to have enough. Me, too.

  3. Deanna H says:

    Thanks for the info. It was actually more than I thought it would be. But I do think authors deserve way more for their incredible product.

  4. Cheryl says:

    Deanna, it was more than I thought it would be, too. But notice that she says that it’s the most she’s ever earned, and that it’s a good year. Other writers can earn much less.

    And yes, I think authors deserve more, too. I think they must be some of the least paid per hour of work put into a product than any other profession.

  5. Madison says:

    Of course, there’s a problem with paying authors by the hour. I mean, it’d get pretty expensive with them paying us even when we have writer’s block! 😀 But, hey, I wouldn’t complain! 😀

  6. Madison, you’re right; of course they couldn’t pay us by the hour. BUT we often work thousands and thousands of unpaid hours. Especially for manuscripts that have been revised a few times. It’s definitely a labor of love.

  7. Madison says:

    Of course. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t do it. I’m the type of writer who will write whether she gets paid or not. It’s in my DNA. OK, maybe not literally, but y’all know what I mean! 😀

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