In the world of writing, the journey to success is often a winding path, filled with obstacles and challenges. The recently published 2023 Author Income Survey by the Authors Guild offers a sobering snapshot of the economic difficulties that writers, particularly female authors, continue to face. At Project Seed Money, we are dedicated to providing grants to women who are sharing their life stories through biographies and personal narratives, these findings resonate deeply with our mission. Let’s delve into some key takeaways from the survey and what they mean for female authors.
The Financial Reality for Authors
The survey reveals that the median income for full-time authors from their books in 2022 was a meager $10,000. When considering all sources of income related to their writing, this figure only crept up to $20,000. These numbers underscore the financial struggles that many women authors endure in their pursuit of storytelling.
Self-Publishing: A Ray of Hope with Challenges
The study shows a glimmer of hope for female authors in self-publishing. Full-time self-published authors saw a remarkable 76% increase in their median income, reaching $24,000 in 2022. However, self-publishing also demands a substantial upfront investment, making it a difficult path for some women writers to embark on.
The Influence of Genre
Genre choices play a significant role in an author’s income. For instance, romance authors emerged as the top earners with a median book income of $31,725. In contrast, literary fiction authors struggled, earning only $5,000. This stark contrast emphasizes how the chosen genre can greatly impact an author’s opportunities and financial returns.