You will recall that at this year’s London Book Fair, ALLi launched the initial results of its first indie author income survey. They showed that indie authors who made their primary living from writing were earning in general more than their traditionally published peers.
We now have the findings of the latest author income survey from the Authors Guild of America. The survey had 5699 responses including several hundred from ALLi members. The findings make fascinating reading as always. I highly encourage you to read more, but I will give you a couple of the highlights.
Obviously the greatest interest is the comparison the survey allows us between self-published and other authors. Taking all authors into account, the median income for full time writers in 2022 was $10,000. For self-published authors that was significantly higher at $12,800.
No surprise at all will be the findings on genre. Romance writers make a median of well over $31,000, head and shoulders ahead of other genres.
One of the things that really interests me about surveys as a disabled author is any insight they afford into the difficulties or opportunities for different demographic groups of authors (11% of authors in the survey met the threshold for the Americans with Disabilities Act). It’s a subject I had the pleasure of talking about at great length last week as I recorded a panel discussion on accessibility in the writing world for ALLi’s SelfPubCon.
Which is both a reminder to make sure you tune in on the weekend of the 21st October. And a segue into a fascinating article about a new call for diversification in publishing. It outlines the lack of opportunities for authors of colour to find agents and publishers for their work. But it also shows that authors for whom the traditional industry keeps doors closed are using self-publishing to demonstrate the demand for their books. The article fits very well with some of the more stark results of the survey. Black authors are far less likely (26% vs 38%) than white authors to be traditionally published. And earnings are significantly lower. Full time black authors earned less than a quarter compared to their white peers ($2,412 vs $10,985 median).
Our campaigns manager, Melissa Addey has welcomed the fact that self-published authors have been split out in this survey. And looks forward to sharing a more detailed look at the ALLi-specific numbers that the Authors Guild have kindly passed on.