From Publishers Weekly:
In its first study on author income since 2009, the Authors Guild delivers some jarring, if unsurprising, data. The survey, which will be released next week, indicates, among other things, that the majority of authors would be living below the Federal Poverty Level if they relied solely on income from their writing.
Mary Rasenberger, executive director at the Guild, acknowledged that the findings paint a grim picture. “When it comes to income there is no good news to report,” she said. Citing a swirl of factors, from online piracy to publisher consolidation to the rise of Amazon (and the shuttering of brick and mortar bookstores), Rasenberger said the takeaway from the survey is that authors should be, receiving higher royalties from publishers. “Authors need to be cut in more equitably on the profits their publishers see, or we’ll stop seeing the quality of work the industry was built on.”
The survey, conducted this spring by the Codex Group, is based on responses from 1,674 Guild members, 1,406 of whom identified either as a full-time author, or a part-time one. The majority of respondents also lean older—89% are over the age of 50—and toward the traditionally published end (64%).
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One thing the survey indicates is that more authors are taking a hybrid approach to their careers. While only 4% of respondents said they have only self-published, 33% reported having self-published at least one book. To Rasenberger, this stat shows authors are recognizing opportunities that self-publishing offers. She said the Guild suspects authors “are starting to see self-publishing as an outlet for projects that haven’t been supported by traditional publishing houses.”
Link to the rest at Publishers Weekly and thanks to Leigh for the tip.