How Much Do Self-Publishing Authors Earn?

13 Mar


So you think you want to write a book? Ever wondered exactly how much self-published authors earn? According to a new study by Digital Book World, the median income range for self-published authors is less than $5,000, and nearly 20% of self-published authors report deriving no income to speak of from their writing.

Dana Beth Weinberg wrote a blog about it: “For amateur Argentine dancers, the possibility of making a living out of their tango practice tends to be perceived as a chance to improve their fates. Unlike tango artists, writers may dream of quitting their day jobs, but very few are able to afford to do so, and that’s why for many writers, publishing is not even a promising option for supplementing income.
In publishing, the diminished role of gatekeepers has meant more opportunity for would-be authors but also more competition to sell books, thereby making it harder for growing numbers of writers to earn their livelihood from their writing.”  Read her full blog: Artists and Money.
Ms. Weinberg was analyzing the responses from the nearly 5,000 authors who volunteerly responded to a 2013 Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest Author Survey in relation to whether an author is aspiring (not yet published), self-published only, traditionally published only, or hybrid (both self-published and traditionally published). She compared the top priorities of these 4 types of authors, and in Part 2, she examined the differences in their stock of published and unpublished manuscripts.

Comparing authors with the same number of manuscripts, there is a strong similarity in income between hybrid and traditional authors, but hybrid authors outperformed their self-published counterparts on earnings. No wonder, as trade-published authors already have a platform and are already a brand!

Yes, some authors do break through… 1.8% of self published authors made over $100,000 from their writing last year, compared with 8.8% of traditionally published authors and 13.2% of hybrid authors. The study was conducted online in October and November 2013.

Conclusions? Don’t quit your day job yet!  Is your self-publishing:

  • an amateurish endeavor,
  • a means of sharing stories,
  • a strategic move in a writing career,
  • or an entrepreneurial activity?

Authors who have a greater focus on earning income from their writing, have produced more manuscripts than either their self-published or traditionally published counterparts, and are earning higher incomes on average.

Learn everything about the publishing and book marketing process. Focus not only on publishing books, branch out and sell more of your written content, such as short stories or magazine articles.
You have lots of material in your manuscripts you can write about! And do write more books! With only one or two books you are not really considered an author, from the third book on, it becomes much easier and every book promotes the others you have written.

More Resources:



If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers:

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,030 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing 111Publishing @ Google+


Hyper Smash



Tags: , , , , , , ,

3 responses to “How Much Do Self-Publishing Authors Earn?

  1. Sophia Kimble

    March 13, 2014 at 6:32 am

    Reblogged this on Sophia Kimble and commented:
    The cold hard facts…

  2. Tyler Fugazzie

    March 13, 2014 at 10:24 am

    thanks for the info


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: