What percentage of writers make a lot of money from writing?


What percentage of writers make a lot of money from writing?

I want to publish books,so I can pay off college loans/continue to pay for schooling. I also like to write so its not solely just to make money. However..it would be nice if I got rich doing it 🙂

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hmm maybe 30,000-300,000

3 years ago

Best Answer – Chosen by Voters

What the others said.I’ve been selling my books for 20 years and never made more that 20K on any one title.I’m a VERY good writer but with mediocre sales, and this year because things are tight I had to sell a book I’d been working on for the last three years for only 10,000.00. I got 5K on the contract signing, 2500 on the turn in, and will get another 2500.00 when it’s released in a couple more weeks.

Not a lot of income for three years’ work and the next pay installment is already spent on bills and mortgage.

Make danged sure you have a DAY JOB with health insurance.

One of my pals is a New York Times bestseller and even she had to go back to work again because she couldn’t afford the health insurance.

The writers you hear about who make the mega deals are like lottery winners. There’s not many of them and they are outnumbered by mid-listers like myself and even I am in the 1 percent who make more than four figures a year from writing. Barely.

This website shows some general figures on how much book sales can gross you. It’s for romance, the highest paying part of the publishing industry. Assume you’ll make the lowest amount for being a newbie.


Day job. Most writers MUST have a day job. Before King hit it big he lived in a trailer, wrote in the water heater closet, and taught school. He was not a successful writer and he was ready to give it all up when lightning struck.

I’m still waiting for that to happen to me. We all are.

100% 1 Vote

Other Answers (5)

  • It’s very difficult to make any real money from publishing books the normal route, i.e. through publishers. The people making nice amounts of money are the ones who have published their own books in eBook format online.I am a full time writer and I certainly make more than $30,000 a year. But I focus on articles – quick turnover, quick pay, and several ways to earn from them.I have a writing blog that focuses on my career and how I did it, as well as giving advice. It’s very difficult making money from publishing books – but focus on online writing and it is a very different story. Good luck to you!


    0% 0 Votes
  • Dianne,Authors who have had million sellers or had movies made from their books are the ones who made it big. Stephen King and J.K. Rowling are great examples.If you’re truly looking to make a lot of money off of selling your books, you really need to have a good backup plan to pay for your loans. It’s not easy getting your work published by a major publisher, but it’s not impossible either.

    Check out my blog http://dabsinfiction.blogspot.com and you’ll have a good idea of what takes place in writing a manuscript. If it’s helpful, please leave a comment.

    PJ M


    Published author.
    0% 0 Votes
  • Very few writers make much money from it. Last count about 5%. The remaining 95% are lucky to turn over a few grand a year. Some earn nothing at all. That’s why people always say “don’t give up your day job.”
    Unless you hit lucky with another Harry Potter you will struggle to make a living.
    Sad but true.

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  1. Pingback: Of Rocking Chairs and Dance Lessons | joeccombs2nd

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