Authors Salary For One Book

One Book’s Salary

The average income for an author is $20,000 to $50,000 per year. The range of income can vary depending on the author’s experience and the type of work they do. For example, fiction writers generally earn more than nonfiction writers.

The average salary for a professional writer is $30,000 per year. This includes all types of writing, including technical writing and copywriting.

The average author’s salary for a single book is about $6,000. This amount can vary depending on the type of book and the publisher. For example, a novel may earn an author more than a textbook would. Also, books published by smaller presses tend to pay less than those published by larger ones.

Authors Salary For One Book

Before getting into the number on how much do book writers make, we have seen a lot of confusion about it, and therefore, we would like to explain how author rewards work in the traditional publishing industry.

When a writer signs a publishing agreement, the author or his agent usually negotiates a royalty prepayment. If the press release or article states that the book was “sold” for that amount, that amount is prepaid and not a flat-rate purchase price.

Prepaid payments are of three installments: while signing the contract, when the publisher accepts the manuscript, and finally after book publication.

While publishing the books, the author creates a percentage of sales for each book sold. It is actually “royalty.” Nevertheless, because they received a royalty prepayment, they are essentially making the money they have already received.

Once the royalties exceed the prepayment, publishers will pay the author again.

Prepaid can take any length of time from book publication to book publication. When the book gives the authors the number of royalties advanced, they begin to earn additional royalties.

Additional royalties become a “revenue.” If the book publisher does not repay the prepayment, the author does not have to refund the excess to the publisher unless the contract violates or terminates.

Precisely, it is a general description of the process, and there are as many variations as needed.

For example, some authors do not receive upfront payments, and many authors who write for established intellectual property receive a lump sum instead of royalties.

It means that some traditional writers will never exceed this initial prepayment, but some writers can make money with books until their death. In addition, some writers lose money when they spend more on advertising, marketing, and spending than they end up making.

How Much Does An Author Make Per Book, Per Year?

Authors can expect to make book writing an only living resource if they have multiple books on the go, know how to market them well, and have an active and enthusiastic fan base.

Many factors influence how much an author earns each year, such as books sold, royalties, and printing costs. No two writers can make the same amount of money if they are writing differently.

Revenue varies depending on the route picked for your publication, whether traditional or self-published book.

Here are the average author payment for both routes:

RevenueTraditional Authors EarningsSelf-published Authors Earnings
Book retail price$14.99$14.99
Initial Royalty Rate10%60%
Income per book$1.79$5.74
Income per book60006000
Earnings in total$10,740$34,440

As you can see, there is a difference of over $24,000 between traditionally and self-published authors over the same number of sold copies.

Most people think that traditionally published writers are more than vanity presses because of the fame of writers like Stephen King and George R. R. Martin. Nevertheless, that is not true.

Royal Earnings

Now that we have covered most of the author-earning vocab, let us briefly explain what authoring loyalty looks like.

Self-published authors can earn 40% to 60% royalties for the selling price of a book, while traditionally published authors typically earn 10% to 12% royalties.

First-time authors willing to publish traditionally will receive a prepayment. This is usually $10,000 (not so much for first-time authors). However, traditional publishing does not start licensing until you sell a book worth $ 10,000 at the license rate. You need to get that $ 10k back before you can start getting a license check from the publisher.

Moreover, many publishers deal with authors who say that selling X books increases loyalty and makes a difference. Nevertheless, Experienced, proven, and traditionally published authors can negotiate higher license rates.

Therefore, 15% is rare for self-published authors; you can earn an average license fee of 60% from the first sale, including each subsequent book sale.

Factors Affecting Authors Income

The amount of money an author earns annually depends on various factors:

  1. Revenue per sale
  2. Prepaid (traditional publications only)
  3. Marketing volume
  4. Audience size
  5. Number of books published in
  6. Number of books currently published
  7. Consistency of bookselling

Examples of Authors earning a Handsome Amount

Of course, outliers are always present. Some are extreme than others, such as famous writers who prey on hundreds of thousands of people. To give a few examples:

  • Roxane Gay earned $100k for Hunger – the fourth book of her career, a memoir.
  • Scott Westerfeld earned $175k for Extras – the 15th book of his career, YA sci-fi.
  • Viet Thanh Nguyen earned $250k for The Refugees – the third book of his career, a collection of compact stories.
  • Gillian Flynn earned $400k for Gone Girl – the third book of her career, a thriller.
  • Kristen Roupenian earned $1,200k for You Know You Want This – the first book of her career, a short fiction containing the Cat Person.

How To Become an Author Who Earns 100k or More?

It is a well-known fact that many people want to write a book and make a living in 2022. However, what makes a writer earn 100k or more?

Written Word Media surveyed in 2019 and 2020. The analysis was not on rigorous data but on conclusions drawn from author-based self-reported surveys.

Their two research groups were surveyed. An ambitious writer sold books under $500/month, and an economically successful writer sold more than $5,000/month in 2019 research and more than $100,000/year in 2020.

They found that more financially successful authors published an average of 13.5 books with an average of 31 hours of writing per week. When categorized by day, this averages more than 4 hours of writes per day. Compare this to an average of 7.4 books published for aspiring authors and 16 hours average of writing per week. That is less than half the writing time per day than successful authors. Of those with annual sales of $100,000, 88% have been writing for more than three years, compared to 59% ambitious writers. It gave successful writers time to gain experience and increase their audience.

In addition, 100k successful authors have an average of 30.3 books in their catalogs, while emerging writers have an average of about seven books.

Furthermore, the $100k author had up to 63 books and at least 7 backlists. Again, there is a lot to write to make a book that can be published completely.

Economically successful writers have designed book cover professionally, 68% of whom spend more than $100 on book design. They usually have specialists in designing book covers.

Well, this narrates more to indie authors, but even if you want to go the traditional route, make sure the cover is professional and eye-catching.

Think about how a book gets your attention and guides you to buy it – Maybe, just a book tagline does not fascinate a reader. That is what the reader wants on the cover. Therefore, authors and designers should learn the science behind the best covers.

The economically successful author specializes in editing the manuscript. You can write, and you can write well, but another pair of professional eyes is key.

More than half of successful author surveys spent $100 on professional editing services, and 32% spent more than $ 500.

Economically successful writers write in popular genres. They also believe in free ads that have one free title. That is, one of their books is always available for free. Some 45% of authors hire staff, but they are also in charge of their marketing.

Over 90% of both 100k authors and up-and-coming writers say they have their marketing. The only difference is that 100k writers can hire for their ease.

Now that you know how much money do authors make on average, we would like to share some tips on how to make more money.

Here Are Some Tips for Becoming a Full-Time Writer.

Tip One: Choose Between Traditional and Self-Publishing Route

First, learn the difference between Traditional and Self-Publishing routes and then make the best choice.

To succeed, it is crucial whether you want to make the most money as a writer.

There are ways to succeed in both ways. Keep in mind that traditional publishing takes time (2 to 3 years for the entire process), and if you are lucky in a bidding war between publishers, you may not make a lot of money.

These bidding wars, like the 6 to 7 digit transactions you hear could bring outstanding progress to writers. Otherwise, unrecognized authors may only receive a $10k prepayment to get started.

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