When speaking to authors, I’m often reminded of a quote attributed to Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” When I wrote books for publication, a few favor-seekers would find me on social media and assume I had plenty of funds to send them gifts. If only that had been true!
Books are expensive. Aren’t all published authors rich today?
Those not in the know can drool over big-name authors’ multi-million dollar per annum earnings. But these authors are few. And by the way? A quick online search reveals that James Patterson published his first novel in 1976 and Nora Roberts published her first novel in 1981, so they’ve had decades to build careers.
What do most authors earn?
According to Indeed.com, the average writer’s salary is $62,178 annually. Some authors will drool over that figure! Naturally, an untold number of authors are earning much less. Indeed.com indicates that the average writer’s tenure is less than a year. This means many writers work from gig to gig with no employer buying them office supplies or helping to pay FICA taxes or health-care premiums.
Or maybe nothing.
If that sounds dire, consider that Pulitzer Prize-winning The Washington Post Magazine ceased publication in December 2022, resulting in employee layoffs. As I write this post, Penguin Random House has just announced retirement buyouts and layoffs. Rinse and repeat at many publishing houses and newspapers across the nation.
Back to gifts …
Whether you make millions or nothing with your writing, the decision to give a gift is always yours to make. If you need help with requests, consider hiring a virtual assistant to filter your correspondence. Ask writer friends for recommendations. If that idea isn’t affordable or doesn’t appeal to you, consider using a designated email address for strangers. Flag correspondence going to this email address as to be ignored or rejected. Respond only to those uplifting messages worthy of your precious attention.
Thank you for your precious attention to this blog post. May you enjoy peaceful prosperity!