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How to survive as an author


I saw an interesting story that said that most authors in Britain make very little money.

  • The median income for authors (where 50 percent of authors make more, and 50 percent make less) is £10,432 ($15,577).
  • 42.3 percent of all the money earned by authors (it would be helpful to know what that total was, but of course the article does not say) was paid to authors earning more than £100,000 ($150,000) per year.
  • 7 percent of all the money earned by authors was earned by the 50 percent of authors who who fall in the below-median income bracket (<£10,432/year). That’s quite a lot of people splitting up 7 percent of the pie.

Now, I have learned the secret of how to make money at writing. And I am happy to share it with you for free.

The secret is, write what people are willing to pay for. That usually means, write about things that you don’t care about. Conversely, it also usually means, don’t write about things you DO care about. Because you’re simply wasting your time. And you’ll probably starve to death trying to earn money writing about things you care about.

Before you despair, know that there IS a sweet spot, where you can write about things that you care about, and people will be willing to pay for it. The best way to find that sweet spot is to write because you like to, not because you have to. Find a job to support you, and indulge in your writing habit in your spare time. Perhaps you will get lucky, and your writing will attract money. But if it doesn’t, then you still get to write in your spare time, and your job ensures that you still get to eat.

There. Isn’t that helpful? Free advice is worth every penny.

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