Forget About Getting Rich

via The Average Earnings of Authors | A Writer’s Path and Guest post contributed by Sara Wolf at the Blooming Twig. The Blooming Twig is an independent publishing house that also produces writing blog posts. For more information, check out the Blooming Twig and A Writer’s Path

A big thanks to Ryan Lanz and Sara Wolf for bursting my bubble. I’m no Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, but hey, I have aspirations for my still unfinished novel. I imagined my book on the New York Times bestselling list and after selling the movie rights, visions of rolling in money. But, according to a report by the University of London, it ain’t gonna happen.

Photo Courtesy of and Google

Here are the highlights of the University’s study  (based on 2,500 working writers):

  • 54% of traditionally published authors and 80% of self-published authors earn less than $1,000 a year.
  • In 2013, 17% of authors made no money writing.
  • Less than 1% of self-published and more than 5% hybrid writers earn more than $100,000 per year. (Hybrid writer -an author who utilizes both the traditional and self-publishing systems in order to retain control of  her own work).
  • According to award-winning author, Phillip Pullman, over the past ten years, publisher’s earnings have remained steady; writers incomes have decreased an average of 29%.
  • Fiction authors make more money than non-fiction or academic writers.
  • Women writers make 80% of what male writers make. (What! Who’s surprised?)
  • The report summed it nicely, “It appears that writing is a profession where only a handful of successful authors make a very good living while most do not.”

There you have it; not many of us will become rich from writing. Most of us write because we love to; it’s part of who we are.

I published my first article in 1989 and the excitement I felt is hard to describe. It’s an accomplishment of which I am still very proud. That first article happened a long time ago, but each time a story or article of mine is published, I get those same feelings. There’s something special about knowing other people are reading and enjoying the words I have written.

What about you? Do you write for fame and riches? Have you earned income from your writing? Share your success. Want to read the full article? You can find it here.

I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story. And as always, you can follow me on Facebook at SheilaMGood, PinterestBloglovin, Twitter @cofcmom, and Contently.

14 thoughts on “Forget About Getting Rich

  1. Interesting post. I especially like the statistics. But I do think it is more likely, thanks to indie/self-publishing, to make a living than ever before at writing (book writing). I’m not in it for fame or fortune, but I do hope to make a career out of it. That’s because it is the one thing I stuck with all these decades, so I know it’s likely my perfect career.


    • I’m sure there are many who do and I certainly hope you are one of them. My post wasn’t intended to discourage writers but for information. Thanks for stopping by the Cow Pasture and best of luck in your writing.


  2. Yeah…I’d give blood but it’s currently all over my typewriter — er, keyboard….Thank heavens it’s a labor of love. Nice reminder though to keep the feet on the blood-covered ground…(sorry. I am a Horror writer.)


  3. Thanks for the shout-out! I might be one of the few, but I actually found the story encouraging. The fact that few are rich off of writing certainly wasn’t news to me, but I did appreciate the quote at the bottom of the article that discussed how more and more people are making part time or supplemental income off of writing. That, I think, is a great goal for any writer. Thanks again, Sheila.


    • You’re more than welcome. I always enjoy Sharing good information. And you’re correct a little extra income for during what we love is icing on the cake. Thanks for stopping by the Cow Pasture.


  4. The moral of your story is: be content with writing as a tool to explore what is on your heart and mind. Just as in art, we do it mostly for its own sake. Then there is blogging. Where would your writing have had such a world-wide audience only 25 years ago? Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this topic!


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