Median Income of U.S. Authors is Now Below the Poverty Line

Authors Living Below the Poverty LineNew Survey Reveals Authors’ Income Has Fallen 24%

Earlier this year, the non-profit Authors Guild, an American advocacy group for writers, conducted a survey of its members that presents a snapshot of the work and lives of American authors in 2015. The survey found, among other things, that the amount of money authors make per year is down — way down. Authors Guild Executive Director said, about the marked plunge in author income, “We expected some decline in earnings because we kept hearing from authors that they were struggling to earn a living. But it was impossible to imagine how much of a drop to expect.”

Author Income Decrease Infographic

click for larger image

According the the U.S. government’s standards, anyone earning under $11,700 per year qualifies as living below the poverty line. It should be noted that these standards have been heavily criticized for setting the poverty line too low.

Other findings of the Authors Guild study included an increase in hybrid authorship and in the time that authors spend on marketing their books, as well as a decrease in the percentage of royalties authors receive and an increase in self-publishing.

percent of authors who self publish average royalties of authors in 2015

The Authors Guild has backed a group of  authors which has been calling on the US justice department to Amazon’s practices vis-a-vis authors and royalties, calling Amazon a book-selling monopoly.

Read the Entire Report Here


2 thoughts on “Median Income of U.S. Authors is Now Below the Poverty Line

  1. I guess we have to measure the value of our words versus the money we’ll make and the costs we’ll incur when trying to figure out if we want to start or even consider the writing endeavor. For me, it’s a matter of continuing. I have to. My stories are in my head for a reason and I wouldn’t feel complete if I didn’t finish them. It’s just may take a little longer than I planned because I’ll probably have to support myself another way while doing it.

    Liked by 1 person

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