The Authors Guild is poised to release their first author earnings study since 2009. What they found should be a cause for concern in regards to how much the average writer is generating solely from their writing. It is dramatically apparent that most of them live below the Federal Poverty line, which is less than $11,670 per year.
The survey, was conducted earlier in the year and is based on responses from 1,674 Guild members, 1,406 of whom identified either as a full-time author, or a part-time one. 4% of the writers taking part in the survey were indie authors and 33% reported having self-published at least one book.
Mary Rasenberger, executive director at the Guild, acknowledged that the findings paint a grim picture. “When it comes to income there is no good news to report,” she said. Citing a swirl of factors, from online piracy to publisher consolidation to the rise of Amazon (and the shuttering of brick and mortar bookstores), Rasenberger said the takeaway from the survey is that authors should be, receiving higher royalties from publishers. “Authors need to be cut in more equitably on the profits their publishers see, or we’ll stop seeing the quality of work the industry was built on.”