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.

By Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is a third-generation Ryukyuan-American, award-winning poet, author, and publisher with 20+ years in newspapers. Publisher of Space & Time magazine (est. 1966), two-time Bram Stoker Awards® Winner, and HWA Mentor of the Year, she shares Authortunities, a free weekly calendar of author opportunities at authortunities.substack.com.

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