Self-published writers who have an agent, or who use the DIY route to get a traditional deal, earn much more than the average self-published writer
Self-published writers who have an agent, or who use the DIY route to get a traditional deal, earn much more than the average self-published writer, according to a survey of more than 1,000 self-published writers. But only a minority (less than 10%) make enough to live off their earnings.
The survey, conducted by the Australian publisher and authors’ services business Taleist, found that just 97 of the 1,007 respondents indicated they could live exclusively off their royalties. In fact, half the respondents failed to reach $500 in royalties in 2011, with a quarter of the books facing the prospect that they will not cover their production costs.
On average, the respondents earned just over US $10,000 from their self-published books in the year. However, the survey also found that a “two-track economy” existed, whereby a small group of self-publishing authors were earning about 75% of the reported revenue. Two-thirds of these “top earners” were women, and though they are roughly the same age as the average self-published writer (roughly 40), the data showed that they had been taking writing seriously for slightly longer than the rest of the group.
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