Hugh hits it out of the park again with his coverage of the ALCS report on author earnings:
The ALCS just released a survey on authors’ earnings, and the news is bleak. The ALCS surveyed 2,454 participants, some of whom considered themselves professional writers. The number of these professional writers who make a full-time wage from their craft has dropped from 40% to 11.5%.
The survey looks at various types of writers (adult fiction, adult visual, academic, etc.), and it would be interesting to tease these apart to see which industries are being hit the hardest. One imagines any periodical writers who participated had bad news to share. One area of growth mentioned is digital income. In 2007 the same survey showed almost no income from digital. It’s now the third largest source of income.
The ALCS also mentions self-publishing. They say (emphasis mine):
“Self-publishing is becoming an increasingly successful venture for writers. Just over 25% of writers have self-published a work, with a typical return on their investment of 40%. Unsurprisingly, 86% of those who had self-published said they would do so again.”