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How Much Do Authors Earn Each Year?

The average income for authors can vary greatly. According to a survey by the Author's Guild, the median income for full-time authors in 2017 was $20,300, while the average income was $62,050. However, it's worth noting that this survey only included traditionally published authors.

The average income for self-published authors can also vary greatly. According to a survey by the Author Earnings website, the average self-published author earns around $10,000 annually. However, it's worth noting that this is average, and many self-published authors earn significantly less or significantly more than this amount. It is also based on fiction and nonfiction, not low or no-content books.

It is important to note that the self-publishing industry is constantly evolving, and it is hard to provide an accurate average income for self-published authors, as it can vary widely depending on factors such as the author's promotion efforts, book genre and overall market conditions

In the example below, the calculation assumes you can earn 60% royalties through self-publishing, whereas the traditional publishing rate isn't too far from the mark. What you have to presume is that you do earn 60% and you do sell 6000 copies in that year. You have a steady income and a good wage from just one book if you do.

Can you encourage the same sales as a traditional publisher, or even more? Well, that is the question, and it is up to you as a self-publisher.

Traditional Publishing


Book Retail Price: $14.99

Book Retail Price: $14.99

Royalty Rate: 10%

Royalty Rate: 60%

Royalty Per Book Sale: $1.79

Royalty Per Book Sale: $5.74

Book Sales: 6000

Book Sales: 6000

Total Royalties Earned: $10,740

Total Royalties Earned: $34,440

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