Making Millions

It’s some­thing we like to ask of BBC Directors and fam­ous authors: Ooh, how much money do they make? There is a wealth of evid­ence that writ­ing will not buy you the golden rock­et car you deserve, but still the myth per­sists that pub­lished writers are wealthy people.

Ooh, are they? This art­icle over at Guardian Unlimited, entitled ‘Harry Potter and the stony broke authors’, provides a nice anti­dote to the per­cep­tion that children’s authors — buoyed by the examples of J. K. Rowling, Mark Haddon, et al. — are diving, each night, into their swim­ming­ful pools of gold bul­lion.

In case you’re too busy to read the art­icle, here is the nub of the mat­ter. Of UK children’s authors:

7%, all women, earned noth­ing last year

22% earned £1-£5,000

15% earned £5,000-£10,000

12% earned £10,000-£15,000

12% earned £15,000-£20,000

14% earned £20,000-£30,000

17% earned over £30,000

The top earner made £185,000.

And think about this: A third of these authors earn less than the nation­al min­im­um wage of £8,827 a year.

I’m not going to talk about my own earn­ings (let’s just say that I’ve so far earned far less than 1p per hour) because I didn’t pub­lish my book with any expect­a­tion of fin­an­cial return, but I thought I’d draw your atten­tion to the gap between the myth and the real­ity.

Author: Ian Hocking

Writer and psychologist.

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