The Authors Guild’s 2018 Author Income Survey, the largest survey of writing-related earnings by American authors ever conducted finds incomes falling to historic lows to a median of $6,080 in 2017, down 42 percent from 2009.
The Authors Guild surveyed its membership and the members of 14 other writers organizations in 2018, receiving detailed responses from 5,067 authors. This included traditionally, hybrid and self-published authors who have commercially published one or more books. When discussing median incomes, the survey looked at both full-time and part-time authors.
The respondents reported a median author income of $6,080, continuing a sharp decline over the last decade: $8,000 in 2014 and $10,500 in 2009 (per the Authors Guild’s 2015 Survey), down again from $12,850 in 2007, as reported in a joint Authors Guild/PEN survey.
Earnings from book income alone fell even more, declining 21 percent to $3,100 in 2017 from $3,900 in 2013 and just over 50 percent from 2009’s median book earnings of $6,250.
The survey showed a shift in book earnings to other writing-related activities, such as speaking engagements, book reviewing or teaching. Including those sources, respondents who identified themselves as full-time book authors still only earned a median income of $20,300, well below the federal poverty line for a family of three or more.
Add writer to the list of occupations to steer your grandchildren away from.
I am a non-professional non-paid writer. And professional writers don’t make much more than I do writing.
Read the entire article here.
Happy Mother’s Day to all.
Two months ago I wrote about shifting my emphasis on this blog away from medical news and information for life underwriting professionals to more of a writer’s blog. The shift was to highlight my transition to professional writing services for hire. Since I posted that change in direction, I’ve found my posts completely unchanged in character and broad content. I’m still linking to great pieces of medical news. I’ve not written anything.
Change we must. I just need to figure out my time commitments and find some of that elusive time to write more.
As I typed the title I heard a collective gasp from the Force. You can’t be serious? Professional writer? Do you know how hard it will be to make a living?
Yes, as a matter of fact I do.
I have this to say to my legions of followers: do not panic. Here are the service offering changes to expect this year:
- I will continue to offer my consulting services on a limited basis to select clients.
- Life underwriting expert witness litigation support services will continue to be provided.
- Technical underwriting services are fully committed at this time.
- Professional corporate writing services for life insurance companies and their respective distribution channels.
There are a lot of very smart people in business today; there are not a lot of good writers. Couple this with the fact that companies need to produce more words, via a greater number of channels, than ever before, and you quickly come to realize that the corporate landscape is rife with opportunity for those who know how to communicate, you know, good. I.J. Schecter
Here is what to expect from this blog:
- More natural writing posts. As I transition to more writing for hire I need to write more. This blog will the primary landing area for my brain droppings.
- Less links to what I consider to be essential reading for professional life underwriters. The links to relevant articles will continue, just not in the frequency and quantity of the past five years.
- More painfully blatant examples of shameless self-promotion. Got to eat. And yes, I still have a mortgage, one child in medical school, one child still an undergraduate, three cars and and a nasty writing habit to support.
I look forward to helping you succeed in your business.
Thanks for reading and your continued support.