Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Writing books for money: a fool's errand?

Joe Carter discusses the economics of being an author.

Prospects are not good:

950,000 titles out of the 1.2 million tracked by Nielsen Bookscan sold fewer than 99 copies. Another 200,000 sold fewer than 1,000 copies. Only 25,000 sold more than 5,000 copies. The average book in America sells about 500 copies

One author says her net profit on a NY Times bestselling book currently stands at $24,517.36.

Samuel Johnson said nobody but a fool ever wrote except for money.

That was before the internet. There are a lot of fools out there.

Writing may be even less profitable than acting, and dollars for new art are dropping because of competition the Gutenberg Project and YouTube.

Without speaking fees or teaching positions to compensate, does the book writer have a realistic career path?

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