I've been curious how much writers make if they are successful in getting published. As much as we might all want to be the next JK Rowling or Stephenie Meyer, very few authors make it to that level. I've read on several different sites how much people might make off their books. Some reports stated that you only make 10% of the total sales. Others said you make about $0.63 a book.
Here's an article that I found on Associated Content. I think it gives some realistic expectations so I thought I'd share...
By Alan Crookham
This is a question that seems to be rather elusive for some reason. I have been pouring a great deal of time into researching this specific subject lately and would like to share what I have found to those out there who would also like to know.
Many new authors ask this question, trying to get a good idea as to what they can expect from their first novel. The problem though, is that there is no set amount of money that one can earn. It all depends on how well the author can write and how intersting their story is. According to an article by Career Prospects in Virginia, there are thousands of new authors every year who submit books to publishers and are never accepted. This according to another source is mainly because the manuscripts are badly written and formatted, which of course makes sense; no publisher is going to accept a low quality manuscript.
Aside from the thousands that are not accepted, there is another large amount that are published, though few are actually successful. Many authors make only a few thousand dollars a year if that. Then of course there are the more successful authors who make hundreds of thousands of dollars while the best of the best make millions.
A new author who wants to have a basic idea of what they will make, in all honesty it is not likely to be much. For new manuscripts the average up advance is between $5000-10,000, this of course changes and if one has an agent they may even be able to get more. However after taxes and agent fees an author is not left with much. Then it takes months before royalty checks start coming in, sometimes half a year or and it may only be a check for about $200, or several thousand if the book is a hit.
The writing profession is a very fluid one, an author could have a best seller and then their next could tank completely. There are no guarantees and no one can give an exact number on how much a book will bring in. Very few authors are able to live off the money they receive from their books, most of them have jobs on the side to supplement their finances. Anyone considering a career in writing full time should only do so if it is the only thing they want to do with their lives, and are willing to make the sacrifices it takes to do so.
Source: Associated Content