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October & November Update - Conferences, Calculating Author's Earnings

At times, it is difficult to know what to give an update on, and so times drag on, procrastination happens and I end up staring at a blank screen many a times. Also I've stopped keeping a journal or track of things that happen. So apart from the main one.


Yes, I'm happy

So I finally completed the draft after three years! There are blog posts here about it and after a while it took so long, I just stopped writing about it. So it's just a draft but I'm happy it's finished and all that remains for me to do is some revisions. Not sure when as I'm taking a break now.

Online Conferences 

Somerset House

I went for another romance one in November and it was interesting. The focus was on the business of writing, and long term sustainability. I must admit, I have toyed with writing in the long term as a part time career but for the first time, I did the calculations and it didn't really add up to much considering the effort. So at the conference a presenter was talking about writer's earning and a light bulb lit in my head. The rarely happens as I like to keep my work separate from leisure - which is writing.

Authors' Earning


What I mean is most independent/self-published writers quote their books sales rather than take-home pay.  In addition, there are associated costs - yes, you know from previous threads I'm an associate of sorts. So say an author earns about $12,000 and say it's pretax (gross) earnings. 

Note and disclaimer - this is a very rough and purely speculative calculation to illustrate the point and not to be used for real life earnings, nor is it financial advice. For accuracy you'll need to hire an accountant and lawyer, this is not financial advice. 

The first thing you need to consider is what royalties they are on. 70% or 35% (I think for Kindle).  Then you need to gross that up to book sales. 

At 70% grossed up (pre-tax) their books sales will be around $17,143 over 12 months averaging $1,429 a month. With the 30% business model, it will be book sales of $34,286 over 12 months so $2,857 per month. 

With the $12,000 pre-tax earning, an author probably still needs to pay tax, adverting costs to maintain momentum and other associated costs. 

The caveat is this depends on how many books they have. A popular six figure author might have a few books doing these numbers individually. So if an author has eight books each grossing  $1,429 so about  $11,432 a month $137,184 a year - royalties will be $96,026.

However the caveat and WARNING is author's incomes from sales are fickle. In the long run, it can be unsustainable hence why most authors have day jobs or side hustles or do the writer's circuit. At times, books become unpopular and the sales go down. Less sales means less income. And if a writer stops writing then that can affect time. Also even big names have lifestyles to maintain so money get eaten up very quickly. 

Yes, we hear of the big advances and deals but the authors still need to earn out their advances and at times that doesn't happen. 

Writing is also time intensive so I guess the day job doesn't look so bad considering.

Christmas and the Holidays are here, so Happy Christmas for those who celebrate it!


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