This is a discussion many authors were having a few weeks ago on a Yahoo loop I belonged to. It started by someone reading a blog about where the money is. I can't remember the author's name now, but the story about the money wasn't pretty. She was an author with one of the big six publishers.
Many of you probably didn't know if an author gets money up front for their book they don't get royalties until the publisher makes enough sales to cover the amount they paid the author. If they don't sell enough books; the author could end up having to pay part of the money back. It all depends on what is in their contract.
E-publishers came along and after a few years the big 6 publishers wanted in on the action. They tried to make their contracts for e-books the same as print books, which is about 5 to 7% depending on the contract negotiated. E-publishers were giving way more and many name authors decided to keep their rights for e-publishing their books and self-published themselves.
Some e-book authors have been making good money and even a living with their writing, but with the big name authors joining our ranks it's not easy. Those authors who have a large following are beating out the new authors. They are too much competition for many mid-list and e-book authors.
There are thousands of people joining the ranks of author by self-publishing instead of waiting for a publisher to read their manuscript and accept it. Many readers aren't willing to take a chance on a new author unless the book is really cheap, or even free. They have reason to be afraid because some author's work hasn't been edited before publishing.
Many published authors I know work a full time job. If it weren't for the fact my husband and I are retired with pensions, social security and other investments I would have had to go back to work with what I make.
It costs to be an author. Any money, I make goes into promotion, websites, ink, paper, computers, conferences, etc. The money goes back into the business. Of course, some day, I expect to write a classic like Gone with the Wind, and that book will outlive me. Grin! While I'm alive there is always hope. Like my husband says, "Follow your dreams."
Have a great week, and I'll see you next Sunday. Thank you for reading my blog.
Sandra K. Marshall