Monday, October 11, 2010

Writers and Money or is that Oil and Water?

Earlier today I tweeted that I was wanting to do a post on the average salary of a writer, started doing some research and got scared. Someone tweeted me this,

"It should scare you. Writers are getting hit HARD with this economic decline. Sad, but true."

Crap, that was depressing. So, I decided to go to Publisher's Marketplace and see what I could find there. Surely, someone must be making money as a writer? Perhaps they just aren't talking about it, perhaps they like their privacy? This was my hope. And here are my findings. Make of it what you will, it buoyed my spirits up and gave me a light at the end of the scary publishing tunnel.

All these numbers are for the last 12 months and include all categories, international rights and foreign rights.

1324 deals were made where the author earned $1-$49,000 with the top earning genre being Fiction followed closely by Women's/Romance.

233 deals were made where the author earned $50,000-$99,000 with the top earning genre being Fiction followed by Children's/YA.

194 deals were made where the author earned $100,000- $250,000 with the top earning genre being Children's/YA followed by Women's/Romance.

99 deals were made where the author earned $251,000-$499,000 with the top earning genre being Children's/YA followed by Fiction.

138 deals were made where the author earned $500,000 or more with the top earning genre being Children's/YA followed by Fiction.

And these numbers don't cover EVERY single deal out there, just the ones that show an amount of money made. So what does this tell us? Well, here are a few more numbers. 1302 deals were made under the Children's/Ya section. 342 were made in the Women's/Romance and in Fiction there were 1433 deals made.

Why you may ask, do these numbers make me feel better? 1. Books are still being bought, lots and lots of books. 2. The top three money makers are genre's that cover a lot of peoples MS's including my own. 3. Just knowing that it is possible to make good money at this very subjective business gives me hope. I for one, believe it is possible to make it as a writer.

Do you?


2 comments:

JEFritz said...

Great job with this research. I believe it's possible to make a living as a writer. You just have to be good at it.

Mandy said...

Nice idea to get some figures! I absolutely think there's money to be made, and I think you have the talent, the dedication and the ability to produce. (I'm not sure all writers have all of these qualities.) I'm glad you were encouraged by what you found...
I'm banking on you becoming a statistic in the 500,000+ category!!