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Do you make any money off your novels?

5994 Views 61 Replies 46 Participants Last post by  AnnetteL
I had always pictured novel writers as making a lot of money so it was shocking when Larry McMurtry said in his literary work that he never made much money off of his books, even Lonesome Dove.  He made most of his money off of the screen plays.

My sister has had 17 christian books published.  Most were novels, but a couple were nonfiction.  She has made a little bit over the years, but not enough to bring in any real income.

My brother-in-law has written 3 very good westerns.  Since he had them published himself, according to my sister, they actually cost them money.  He told me that he gets a small amount from them from time to time, but will never break even.

I guess there are some of the more famous writers that make a actual living out of writing novels, but there are probably not a lot of them.

So if you are a novel writer, have you made any money off of your novels?
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I write in the YA/Middle Grade market and I've made my living as a writer since 1997 (the year my first book came out). But the key has been diversification. In the first few years, part of the money came from grants, another part from doing school visits, and maybe 30% from royalties. Over the years (and sixteen novels later), it has switched and I tend to make about 70% of my income from royalties (or advances) and the rest from various appearances (at schools, festival, and conferences). And, thanks to ePubbing, all of my works are back in print again. I am hoping that will add to my revenue stream (crossing my fingers, anyway).

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