From author Robin LaFevers on Writer Unboxed:
When I was growing up, in addition to avoiding the traditionally forbidden topics of sex, politics, and religion, my family added money to that list. I suspect my family was not alone in this.
The thing is, it’s nearly impossible to make solid, informed decisions about our careers when so much of the financial realities are clouded in uncertainty or hyperbole. There has been a lot written recently discussing the earning potential of self published authors, but what do the earnings of a slow build, mid-list, traditionally published author look like?
. . . .
Real, solid numbers and info on advances and traditionally published earnings information can be hard to come by, in part because few people like to discuss their finances in so open a manner, but also because of the nature of publishing. Many contracts preclude the author discussing their advance, and even if it’s not forbidden, many are hesitant to do so, afraid they will dispel the romance and mystique of their actual place in the publishing pecking order.
Since my own experience is with middle grade and YA, that is what I am most familiar with. If there can be said to be any averages in publishing, then the average kid lit advances look something like this:
Middle grade (ages 8-12) advance $4,000-$10,000
YA advance $7,500-$25,000
. . . .
Which brings us again to the question of what those numbers might translate into over time. Well, Dear Reader, they probably look something like this . . . (prepare to be underwhelmed)
I sold my first book in 2002, and my writing income over the years has been as follows:
2002 $ 5,187
2003 $ 8,353
2004 $27,500 (Yay! Sold a trilogy)
2005 $ 4,142
2006 $ 12,841
2008 $28,470 (I had to augment that writing income with 2nd job because we had two kids in college that year. Ouch.)
2009 $58,516 (This was a BIG school visit year and I sold a second series. I also quit that second job.)
2010 $ 47,590
2011 $ 64,579
Link to the rest at Writer Unboxed and thanks to Bill for the tip.