Writing a book is not just fun but it can also be hard work. When you write a book, you will need to put all the work upfront to gain some benefits later, including potential royalty payments. Many people still believe that authors earn a lot of money but the truth is that most professional writers don’t have a fixed income.
This being said, there are some ways that you can make money writing books but it is likely not enough to work full time as a writer. In this article, we explore if you can make money writing books and how much money you can expect from your book sales.
Can You Make Money Writing Books?
Yes, you can make money from writing and publishing books. However, there are many factors that influence how much money you will make. From what publisher you choose and where the book is sold to the price of your book, there are many people in the publishing industry that get a cut when a book is sold.
This usually means that most authors do not make a lot of money from writing books, at least not enough to live off their writing.
How Much Can Authors Make A Year?
There is no top limit on how much an author can earn a year. However, average author income is typically very low. This depends on how many books an author sells, their publisher and how popular the author is with readers.
The Factors That Affect How Much An Author Earns
When it comes to making money from writing books, you will need to keep a number of factors in mind that influence how much you earn as an author.
Self-Publishing Or Publisher
One of the biggest influencing factors that affects an author’s salary is whether he publishes his books with a publisher or himself. Traditionally, most authors would send their book to a publisher. If a publisher accepts an author, then they would get an advance payment as well as book royalties.
The advance payment is usually split into half. The author receives half of the payment upfront, and the other half once the book is completed. While some publishers still offer advance payments to authors, this has largely disappeared across the industry, also due to the rise of self-publishing.
In addition, many publishers also take a large sum of money from the author’s sold books, and royalty payments are very low. Royalty rates vary greatly depending on the publisher, the publisher’s size and reputation.
Traditionally, royalty payments are much smaller than self-publishing rates because the publisher has a lot of overheads to cover, such as designers and editors. On the other hand, you can also publish your book yourself through Amazon or other platforms.
However, self-publishing means that you will need to do everything yourself, from the editing and book cover design to distribution and marketing. This being said, you will also be able to keep the majority of royalties for yourself. This can be up to 70% of each book sold.
Number Of Books Sold
Another factor that significantly influences how much money you can make with writing books is the number of books sold. The more books you sell, the more money you can make.
Reputation And Following
Popular writers, famous authors or even well-known celebrities sell a lot more books than unknown authors. If you have a devoted following or you have a large network, then you can sell more books much faster, bringing in more money.
How To Make The Most Money From Writing Books?
Writing books doesn’t always lead to a big salary but here are a few tips on how you can get the most out of your book.
Choose The Right Publishing Form
Choosing the right way to publish your book has a big impact on how much money you make. Self-publishing takes much more work with editing, design and marketing your book yourself. However, you will be able to keep a larger share of your royalties.
On the other hand, the traditional publisher route means you have access to professional publishing experts but you “pay” for this with a much lower royalty rate.
It’s worth mentioning here that self-publishing may offer better royalty payments but it also involves a large amount of work which is extremely time-consuming. You will need to consider for yourself how much time and effort you want to invest in your book project.
Market Your Book
Traditional publishers come with large marketing teams and budgets. They promote and publish your book to a wide variety of different audiences. Most authors don’t get to see the big marketing machinery behind the scenes but marketing is essential to engage readers and sell books.
If you choose the self-publishing route, then you will need to market your book yourself. This involves regular social media posts, podcasts, videos, email newsletters and an author website. You should also consider giving interviews on podcasts, webinars and other places that cover your book topic.
It’s also a good idea to offer book readings at your local bookstore or library. There are many creative ways to promote your book. While this is very time-consuming, effective marketing can lead to more book sales which turns into greater royalty payments for you.
Consider Your Next Writing Steps
If you want to create an income stream with your writing, then you will need to consider the next steps in your writing career. Do you have another book in the pipeline? How do you keep marketing your books in the coming years?
If you want to become a full time writer, then you will need to put some time into your new career path, and consider how you want to continue on your writing journey.
It’s possible to make money writing books but being an author requires a lot of time and some strategic publishing choices to turn your passion into an income.