So, you’re either naturally curious or you’re thinking of dipping your toe into the world of writing books.

The big question is- How much do authors make?

The honest answer is – it depends.

On MANY variables.

One of the big variables is whether or not you are traditionally published or self-published.

Traditionally published

What is it?

Traditionally published means you write your book and submit it to a publishing house to publish for you (essentially doing all the marketing etc. for you).

These are the ‘big 5’ publishers:

Famous traditionally published authors.

J.K. Rowling is published by Hachette Book Group and she is a self-made billionaire.

Who doesn’t know that she is the author of the Harry Potter series?

She apparently submitted her debut novel to many publishers and got rejected, and apparently it was only when a publishers assistant picked J.K. Rowlings novel out of the rejected pile and took it home, that the following day she was offered a book publishing deal.

James Patterson

Also published with Hachette Book Group.

It is reported that James Patterson earns an estimated $90 million a year. Not bad. eh?

The positives about being published is that your book publishers handles most of the marketing, so you can mainly focus on the writing. Although it is more common nowadays that authors help out with the marketing too.


What is it?

It is literally publishing books without the help of a book publisher. You are doing it yourself.

It also means that you will be doing all of the marketing and paying out for editors, proofreaders and cover designers.

The positives are that for every £1 earned you will earn more as a self-published author as opposed to a traditionally published author as the publisher will take more of a percentage to recoup the costs of marketing, editing etc.

Well known self-published authors

Mark Dawson

Mark Dawson if often regarded as the self-publishing guru. He makes hundreds of thousands of pounds EACH MONTH. He is easily making over £1million a year through his Milton Series.

He has brought out courses that help authors to market their books.

I really recommend his Ads For Authors Course

and his Self Publishing 101 course.


Being completely honest.

Many, many authors do not make more than around £10 a MONTH with their books. It’s a shame, but it’s the truth, hence why things like Mark’s courses are well worth it. It’s fascinating to get the insight into how to make more money as an author.

The truth is, there are millions of books on Amazon which means lots of competition which then means, you need to stand out which is where the marketing comes in.

(Book marketing will be a separate blog post)

How much does a first time author make?

All depends on how much marketing you have done and how much ‘buzz’ is around your book.

To generate the buzz, you need to be getting readers excited about your book way before the release date.

You need to be engaging with bloggers, readers, and anybody who may be interested in your book.

It’s give and take, so while you are waiting to release your book, make sure you share other people’s posts, blogs, books etc. and 9 times out of 10, they will share your exciting news.

Depending on your budget, you can also run ads (whether that be Amazon ads or Facebook ads) which can help spread the news about your book release. But I do recommend before the release day that you get yourself acquainted with running ads so you are confident when it matters most.

Building an email list is essential as EARLY AS POSSIBLE.

Even when you do all this, sometimes as a first time author, you may only make £100-300, but trust me, it is the SWEETEST money when you have earned it for something you have created.

After a while, you start to be more confident with book marketing and know more about what works and what doesn’t.

What can help you

The money is in the series…

What do we mean by this?

As you can see, J.K. Rowling made a very nice fortune by writing a series. Mark Dawson did the same and so did Jame Patterson.

So there seems to be a pattern forming.

I’m not saying that you should only write a series, but it definitely helps to earn more money as you will only need to really promote book 1 in the series as your readers will naturally go on to read book 2, book 3 etc. rather than setting aside individual budgets for each book.

We are currently writing the D.I. Rachel Morrison series which is a 6 part crime fiction series, but also, we are working on other projects such as non-fiction and activity books.

But it is the ‘series’ money that is more consistent for us.

How much do authors make for a bestseller?

What is a bestseller?

A bestselling book is a book that is a best-seller in the category that you believe your book belongs in such as thriller, romance, paranormal.

When you hit number 1 in your category (and some are a LOT more difficult to reach the top spot) you get a little orange ‘bestseller’ sticker above your book which in itself helps to naturally sell more books as it brings with it more kudos.

Some authors ‘write to market’ where they specifically write books they know will hit bestseller because there is demand (so they will make money) but less competition in that niche.

How do you know which categories to pick?

You NEED to get Publisher Rocket.

It is without doubt one of the best investments for me a self-published author.

Click image to check it out


Pick the categories where you will stand the best chance to be a bestselling author.

Click here for how to do this.

So, you know that there IS money to be made in writing books, but yes, it is hard work, but it can be done and IS being done.

What’s stopping you?

Vicky & Claire x

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