My parents warned me about this when I told them my career choice, but yesterday at Forbes.com they confirmed it: writers don’t make a lot of money.
Based on a survey conducted by Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest, 20 percent of self-published authors report earning no income from their writing and the median income for traditionally published authors isn’t much better: $5,000 to $9,999.
Talk about depressing.
And yet, I know there are people out there making enough to quit their day jobs. The question is, will I ever become one of them?
I’ve never had delusions about getting rich from my writing. I don’t expect to become the next J.K. Rowling, or even Darcie Chan. But I did harbor an outlandish hope that I could earn a living from it.
Today I plan to take some advice from Susan Quinn and draft up a five-year plan for my writing life. Maybe having it all out there will help me focus on making this dream a reality. I’d love to add my name to the growing ranks of mid-list authors making a living at doing what they love.
So hey, screw Forbes. They don’t have all the answers. And as far as I’m concerned, the people who did the survey were asking the wrong questions. The important thing to figure out is how those top sellers got to where they are. What best practices did they use to help generate sales? That, for me, is the big takeaway. That’s how writers can do better, earn more, live happier.
What do you think?