The Truth About Royalties

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 8.13.41 PMToday I received my $34.68 in Amazon royalties. That’s a pretty good payment for me, but before I pop the cork on the champagne, I have to point out that these royalties have accrued since last July.

That’s the truth about how much authors make. In the last year I’ve clocked around 4 hours a night working on writing. I don’t take weekends off. That’s about 1,460 hours. Divided That means I made about .2 cents an hour for my second career.

I also get around .60 cents a month from the different European markets and I’ve brought in some from book signings. Let’s be generous and estimate that at at another $30. That brings it up to almost .50 cents an hour. As dismal as that seems, that’s not bad income for an indie author. 80% of self published authors make less than $1,000 a year.

These are discouraging statistics for anyone who wants to write their way to riches. Getting a $34.68 check for 1,460 hours is a dismal living. Depressing statistics.

For the writers that feel compelled to write, who would write for free, $34.68 is awesome. It’s not a living, but a confirmation that someone found my words worth something. That’s not a living… it’s living.

About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is an American poet, publisher and author. Her first collection of poetry, In Favor of Pain, was nominated for an 2017 Elgin Award. Her latest novella, Bitter Suites, is a 2018 Bram Stoker Awards® Finalist. Currently, she publishes Space and Time magazine, a 53 year old publication dedicated to fantasy, horror and science fiction. For more information visit or
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