How much can fantasy authors expect to earn when they publish books? Few writers actually share their earnings, but it can be enormously helpful for aspiring authors.
On Reddit, traditionally published fantasy author Paul S. Kemp and self-published fantasy author Michael J. Sullivan pulled back the curtain on their yearly earnings. Kemp said that he does not “expect to quit my day job anytime soon.” He spoke frankly about his writing finances:
I’ve been doing this twelve years now. When I started, I earned $5-7K per year. As my backlist and audience grew, so too did my earnings. My best year has been roughly $70K and an average year these days runs between $35-45K. Setting aside outlying years, my income from writing has been on a reasonably steady upward trajectory (ebooks are helpful here, in that your backlist stays in print essentially forever). Next year will probably be another year in the 70-100K range (due to an upcoming release and the way the payment schedule shakes out), but after that I expect things to once more regress to the mean.