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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Earnings of Authors

New Guild Survey Reveals Majority of Authors Earn Below Poverty Line

Rachel Deahl | September 11, 2015

In its first study on author income since 2009, the Authors Guild delivers some jarring, if unsurprising, data. The survey, which will be released next week, indicates, among other things, that the majority of authors would be living below the Federal Poverty Level if they relied solely on income from their writing.
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.

dbweinberg income
      Not surprisingly, most aspiring authors in the sample reported no annual income from their writing. About 19% of self-published authors in the sample also reported no annual income from their writing, compared to 6% of traditionally published authors and only 3% of hybrid authors. While most of the survey respondents clustered at the lower end of the income distribution, some authors did report earning $200,000 or more from their writing, the highest income choice on the survey:  less than one percent (0.6%) of self-published authors, 4.5% of traditionally published authors, and 6.7% of hybrid authors who reported on their income. (In the chart, I have collapsed the top categories to $100,000 or more for better visibility. These aggregated category represents 1.8% of self-published authors, 8.8% of traditionally published authors, and 13.2% of hybrid authors.) Source:      

<more at; related links: (Income for US authors falls below federal poverty line – survey. Authors Guild says median income for members has fallen 24% in five years, with piracy, Amazon and publishing economies contributing to slump in earnings. September 15, 2015) and (Authors' incomes collapse to 'abject' levels. ALCS survey finds median annual earnings for professional writers have fallen to £11,000, 29% down since 2005. July 8, 2014)>

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