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Writers' IncomesAs with any profession, the amount of income you can expect to make depends upon a great many factors. These factors include the type of writing you wish to do, your personal level of writing skill, and no small amount of luck. Typically, writers will fall into one of three categories:
  • Hobbyists
  • Freelancers
  • Professionals

Hobbyists will obviously make the least amount of money, but this is true of any profession. An amateur golfer would hardly expect to make the same amount of money as Tiger Woods. Hobbyists typically write in their spare time, and try to sell manuscripts to newspapers, magazines, or web sites. In many cases these writers make no money whatsoever. But again, this would be true of any profession. A talented Hobbyist might make a few thousand dollars a year from writing.

Freelancers are writers who, by virtue of connections within the industry, are able to take on various writing jobs on a Per Job basis. These are typically Copywriters and Technical Writers. Depending on their skill and (more importantly) the qualify of their Contacts, Freelancers can make a reasonably good living. Pay differs depending on the writer's area of expertise, but you could reasonably expect to make between 40k to 90k per year. Keep in mind though that the success of a Freelance writer has less to do with their writing skills than it does on their ability to Network successfully within their chosen industry.

Professional Writers are writers who have either full-time jobs as writers, or who make their primary living via Agents and Publishers. I, for example, am a professional writer for a marketing firm. I make 140k a year, plus bonuses. But I must stress I have twenty years experience within my industry. I averaged around 40k a year for the first ten years of my career.

So you want to be a Novelist.

Let's be honest here- odds are that if you're searching the Web for information on how much "writers" make, it's because you want to write Fiction. Odds are that you've been discouraged by an endless stream of people telling you that it's impossible, and you'll never make any money. So without further adieu, let me be be as blunt as I can about your earning potential as a Fiction Writer.

Yes, you CAN make money as a Novelist.

But keep in mind, being a Novelist is just like any other career. Not every actor winds up being Tom Cruise, not every Cyclist is Lance Armstrong, not every band is The Beatles, and not every author is Stephen King.

For every superstar in any field of endeavor, there are a million people who never quite make it. But also keep in mind that if Michael Jordan had never picked up a basketball, he'd never have became the greatest player in the game.

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13y ago
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2mo ago

Children's book writers can make anywhere from a few thousand dollars per book to several million, depending on factors like their experience, popularity, and book sales. Royalties typically range from 5-10% of the book's cover price, with advances for first-time authors often falling in the $5,000 to $10,000 range.

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13y ago

It depends on what they sell!

Short story writers can make $75 - $200 per story. Most magazines pay a certain amount per word. Novel writers make more, depending on whether they are a best-selling author or a first time one.

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14y ago

If they don't publish, they get no money for poetry. Unless they happen to perform at live venues and or on street corners and get paid for it. Most of them have second jobs (from teacher to short-order cook).

Or... The least of them, live a poverty stricken life on the streets... Or... In their parents basement, attic or storage shed. Having a second job for a mere means of survival would not be true to the art of the ever popular tortured artist effect. i.e. A true artist must suffer and starve for his/her art. Look up Devotion.

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13y ago

It largely depends on what they write. If we're talking newpapers and magazines, it could be anywhere from $0 to hundreds or maybe even thousands. I'm going to assume we're talking about novels here though.

The average author gets roughly $5000-15000 per book sold as the advance and most do not make much more then that. Most young authors however, like Christopher Paolini or Nancy Yi Fan or Flavia Bujor get bigger money strictly because they are young and publishers use this as a major hook to make money. In terms of Christopher, author of the Eragon books, he's made over 20 million dollars. Usually though, a few thousands a year can be assumed. But the more books an author has published and the more popular they become, the more money they make.

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14y ago

It really depends on the writer. If your work is good enough to get published, and bought up by the general public, then the writer can make upwards of a few thousand dollars.

However, know this, writers usually don't make enough to live on, and unless you are Stephen King, or Ted Dekker, writing will not be enough to support you. You would need another job and write on the side.

If you are really into writing, become a journalist, and write novels or short stories on the side.

Every time you write a collum/ story and it is good enough to worth somthing you can get about a thousand dollars. A well-rounded writer makes about one or two thousand a month.

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16y ago

Authors are pay per copy per a contracted rate, so the pay will vary on copies sold and negotiating skills.

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11y ago

It depends entirely upon the writer, the publisher, and the market. Don't quit your day job, though!

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12y ago

It varies maybe 15,000 per book about $10 per page

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Q: How much money do childrens book writers make?
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