The Costs of Writing

$0 - B

Tim

Creative Writer
300 page paperback, ordered as minimum 25 units, approximately £5.00 per book

£125 and you have 25 copies of a book you wrote, to pass out to family and friends as a private enterprise thing.

current retail cost of book in shop here is £7, but obviosuly the shop takes a cut out of that, which is probably the same or more than the difference! so no real money making schemes to be gained here, just personal pride.

i hadn't thought the price would be affordable (as the minimum units is a lot lower than i expected) but the 300 page limitation (and 10 pages of that is filler) is very.................limiting !!!
 

Tom

An Old Friend
The range was from $0-$40,000 for an advance on a first novel.

The average was $6363.

The median advance is $5000. The median figure is a better indicator of what most people consider 'average.'
The range in Fantasy first novel advances is from $0 to $40,000.
The average first novel advance is $6966 for Fantasy.
The median first novel advance is $5000 for Fantasy

The range in Science Fiction first novel advances is from $0 to $20,000.
The average first novel advance is $6555 for SF.
The median first novel advance is $5000 for SF.

There were some paranormal/gothic, horror, and some entries unlabeled that were all in the average area, which is why the broken out data averages slightly higher than the unaveraged.

While the median for SF and F are the same, Fantasy trends higher by about 10% in the averages. This could be explainable by the margin of error I set forth initially, however this data consistently holds true through the rest of the data set, so I'll hazard the opinion that this trend indicates higher clusters of advances in Fantasy, right around the 7500-10,000 range, on first advances, more so than in SF.
60% of our first time novelists had an agent, the other 40% sold the book without an agent, and a high number indicate they got agents right after or during the sale of the book.

The range in agented advances is from $1500 to $40,000
The average agented advance is $7379
The median agented advance is $5500

The range in unagented advances is from $0 to 13,500
The average unagented advance is $4611
The median unagented advance is $4000

These figures have noticeable differences across the board. Not having an agent looks to cost one well more than the agent's percentage on average, and certainly most of the higher ranging figures come from people with agents.
When I initially created the survey I added fields asking what the last novel the author in question got for an advance, as well as how many books they had sold, and how many years they'd been selling books. I was curious to see if the data would reveal any certain trends over time. 57 authors in this survey had sold more than one book. 53% of these authors made a living at writing. We have a margin of error of 12.89% on this data for you to keep in mind. Here is how that data breaks down:

The range was from $0-$600,000 for an advance on their latest novel.

The average was $32,996.

The median advance is $12,500.

Remember, the median figure is a better indicator of what most people consider 'average,' as far as a statistical likelihood is concerned.
The range in Fantasy novel advances is from $1000 to $600,000.
The average novel advance is $45,243 for Fantasy.
The median novel advance is $13,500 for Fantasy
(note with thanks to John Scalzi, with the $600,000 advance taken out, the results skew down in average to $25,000)

The range in Science Fiction novel advances is from $0 to $45,000.
The average novel advance is $14,059 for SF.
The median novel advance is $12,500 for SF.

While the median differs by an amount within margin of error, it is clear that Fantasy novels breakout into far higher sums, making the average for Fantasy novels -3- 2 times as much as SF.
The typical advance for a first novel is $5000. The typical advance for later novels, after a typical number of 5-7 years and 5-7 books is $12,500. Having an agent at any point increases your advance. There is some slight correlation between number of books and number of years spent writing as represented in the 5-12.5 thousand dollar advance shift of an average of 5-7 years. Charting individual author's progressions, which I will not release to keep anonymity, reveals a large number of upward lines at varying degrees of steepness for advances, some downward slides.

Some authors noted that they'd gotten large advances in the 90s but were being paid less now.
 
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