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Friday, July 14, 2017

Do Any Authors Make Real Money Writing Books?



Most authors don’t make a lot of money writing books.

This is a statement that’s been asserted for probably a century or more.

Is it really true?  If so, why is that?  Can anything be done to reverse it?

First, let’s examine this statement and break it down. What’s considered “a lot of money”?  It’s all relative, isn’t it?

Second, if most authors aren’t making a lot, what percentage of authors are doing well?  Is it 1%, 10%, 25%?

Today, authors can make money from writing books in a number of ways:

·         Book sales
·         Selling rights to books (foreign, movie, audio)
·         Using the book to generate interest in the author/website, then converting that interest to do something that can be commoditized (leads to consulting clients for the author, leads to getting a new job, leads to selling backlist or other products, help get you speaking gigs, etc.).
·         Getting media exposure that leads to getting a book deal with a big advance.

Even if the statement is true that most writers don’t make a lot from penning books, look at the flip side -- some authors make a lot.  I’m also sure some authors make some money, though not a lot.  Even the ones who say they made very little or lost money when factoring time spent or costs associated with the book (editing, printing, marketing), we’d see a positive connected to their book.  Perhaps the book helped a reader.  Maybe it made the author feel good.  So, upon closer examination, could we say that most authors get some kind of satisfaction and/or compensation from writing books?

Well over a half-million writers have a book published in a year.  They obviously do it for a reason, and almost all of them would come back to do it again at a later date.  Writers love to write.  They have many books inside of them.  They just need time, courage, and support to actually write, publish, and market a book.

Writing a book should be measured in terms of these factors:

  • What would you have done with the time you devoted to writing, publishing and promoting your book if it never existed?
  • What value, in terms of dollars, could you put on that time?
  • Money or time aside, is the world better off for having your book?

Book can really have a pay-off if you look at how authors use them.  They become a writer’s resume, a chance to shine and get discovered.  The book becomes their brand and positions them to be seen as an expert. A book can legitimize you.

But writing books should still be a profitable venture.  Sure it creates an author brand and helps share a positive idea or message that potentially helps others, but why doesn’t one spending hundreds of  hours on researching, writing, editing marketing and promoting a book have a financial windfall for his or her efforts?

Writing books is now seen by some as not being much different than saying you have a blog or that you sing, dance, do comedy, or perform creatively.  In fact all of these things compete with one another.  The free podcasts and blogs compete with consumers who determine how to spend money and time on entertainment, information, and educational resources.

But authors are unique and books are special.  Many people think they have a book inside them but only a certain few will go out and get it done.  They should be able to earn a living from it if they are decent writers.  Society should reward its creative talent.  

Do authors make big money?  They are enriched for the process of writing a book – but they do deserve compensation for what they do.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs 

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