Prospects for UK authors bear a depressing similarity to those of the US. A poll conducted in 2013 by Digital Book World and Writer's Digest revealed that the median income for self-published authors was $5000. Hybrid authors (those who both self-publish and publish with established publishers) had a median income range of $15,000 to $19,999. Fewer than 10% of traditionally published authors make a livelihood that could be called lucrative.
Does this mean you should abandon writing? Absolutely not. Just keep your day job.
Traditional publishing is 'no longer fair or sustainable', says Society of Authors
Chief executive of 9,000-member UK group argues that while 'authors' earnings are going down generally, those of publishers are increasing'
By Alison Flood - The Guardian, July 11, 2014
After figures released this week showed professional authors' median annual incomes have collapsed to to £11,000, The Society of Authors' chief executive has claimed that traditional publishers' terms "are no longer fair or sustainable".
Earlier this week, the Authors' Licensing & Collecting Society released a survey of almost 2,500 writers which found that the median income of a professional author last year was £11,000, down 29% since 2005 – a period in which median earnings for UK employees have fallen by 8%. By this year, according to the survey, just 11.5% of professional authors said they earned their income from writing alone, compared with 40% in 2005.
The ALCS set its findings against Department of Culture, Media and Sport figures which show that in 2014, the creative industries were worth £71.4bn per year to the UK economy. "In contrast to the decline in earnings of professional authors, the wealth generated by the UK creative industries is on the increase," it said. "If unchecked, this rapid decline in the number of full-time writers could have serious implications for the breadth and quality of content that drives the economic success of our creative industries in the UK."
Continue reading this article here.