4/12/2022 6 Comments
We're Talking Big Money Now
People are curious about how much money their author acquaintances make. Didn't J. K. Rowling purchase her own private island?
The reality is harsh. Most writers will never make a living off their short stories and novels. I had dreams of quitting the day job after my first novel publication. Then the publisher went belly up.
So I was surprised to receive a royalty statement from them this week. Our business relationship had ended several years ago.
I thought I'd dispel some myths about the lifestyle of rich and famous authors by sharing this stunning royalty statement. Okay, this isn't a good representation. They don't sell my books anymore. This stunning sum is left over from some long ago sale. They don't write royalty checks for less than $50, so my 31 cents will float around for the rest of eternity.
My new publisher is doing quite a bit better. But it's definitely not quit the day job money. If most struggling authors are like me, they are writing for the joy it, not the anticipation of wealth. We have stories to tell.
4/12/2022 07:49:57 am
That's pretty hilarious, but all too sadly true. This can be a rough business. I've gotten Paypal royalty payments from an online publisher that were less than a dollar, though fortunately that's an exception rather than the rule.
4/12/2022 06:11:42 pm
Karen, every little bit helps. Although actual dollars would be nice.
4/12/2022 12:57:26 pm
4/12/2022 06:10:44 pm
Hopefully all the pennies will add up to dollars some day. :)
4/13/2022 09:29:36 am
My smallest was $0.14. It was a direct deposit from Amazon, a royalty from a KDP sale in Australia. If all you get for the month is a foreign conversion adding up to $0.01 or $0.02 in American dollars, they pretend it doesn't exist. Both figuratively and literally, poor authors! Singer-songwriters who aren't Bob Dylan or Taylor Swift have it even worse, though. I get a royalty of $0.01 every time one of my songs is played on Spotify. When it adds up to $10, I get a check—unless I die of old age first.
4/13/2022 04:07:59 pm
I hadn't thought about songwriters while lamenting about fiction authors' royalties. That means your song has to be played 1,000 times to make $10? Unreal!
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