I know there are a number of authors who read this and readers too, so I thought this primer might be useful. Author All Sorts presents What not to say to authors (and what to say instead)
NOTE: I LOVE being an author. I feel like the luckiest THING ever. This post is not a sign of my unhumbleness.
…However, since the wonder of being published, I’ve got one niggle. Whenever I talk to anyone about my books, people say the same things to me. Over and over. There are obviously a lot of myths out there about authors, so I’d thought I’d answer the main ones here, all in one go.
Myth one: Authors are all filthy rich…like JK Rowling
What not to say: “Wow, you’re an author? So, where’s your castle then, JK Rowling?”
The reality: Honestly, I’d make more money if I was paid a pound for every time someone brings up JK Rowling when talking to me about my career, then I’d ever make from selling books.
Here is the basic maths…
An average book costs, say, £7.99.
An average royalty rate for an author is around 7-9% of the cover price.
So, if a book sells at full price, an author can make around 60p.
Oh, yes, and around 15% of that 60p goes to your agent.
And don’t forget Mr Taxman, he’ll be wanting another 20%
So, even if a book sells over 50k copies, an author would only take home around ten grand.
…And most books don’t sell over 50k copies. Most books sell less than two thousand copies.
Authors don’t do it for the money. And not just because WE’D BE FRICKIN’ MAD TO. We do it because we love it and we’re so very lucky to do something we love…but it’s usually not a living. It’s more like a ‘hobby with benefits’. And no castles.
What to say instead: “You’re an author? Golly, do you want me to get this round in then? And, yikes, you look cold. Here’s my jacket.” *covers shivering author with jacket*