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How much can you earn by writing a novel in India?

How much can you earn by writing a novel in India

When a writer sits to write, his goal is to complete his novel on the set line and make it reach millions of other readers. Of Course, there are many examples to look up to,  like Durjoy Dutta, Chetan Bhagat, Amrita Pritam, Jhumpa Lehri, Ravinder Singh, etc. Ofcourse it was not an easy feat; they achieved this through hard work, talent and determination. But most importantly, they chose to move in the right direction. 

If you want to know how authors make money, you must know that do not just write it for leisure. For business dynamics, working on a novel means editing, rewrites, meeting deadlines and promoting the work on the right platform.

Author’s pay:

  • The author’s salary varies vastly. Some authors might earn millions if they rise to the top, while others might not earn even a rupee. 
  • The former requires tons of patience and a burden to meet high-end deadlines. 
  • Before thinking about how much a novelist makes, it’s important to understand how much a novelist invests. 
  • The best writers hire a PR team, use writing software, type a certain amount of words per day, and engage in social media and meetups to interact with their readers.
  • The author has two options to publish their book; they can either self-publish or work with a publisher. In addition, novelists can receive a portion of sales,  called royalty income or non-refundable advances from publishing houses, in the hue of future earnings. 

Extremes: Salary of the best selling author:

Authors are not entitled to annual or monthly fixed salaries. Instead, they depend upon advance payments and royalties from book sales for their income.

A small number of authors also make millions each year by writing the best selling, one after the other. 

Payment of BEST SELLING authors through traditional publishing method-

  • The authors get an advanced payment from the publisher before publishing their novel. The earnings represent the future royalties of the book. Usually, beginners often get advances in the $5,000 to $10,000 range.
  • The first instalment is usually paid after the contract is signed, while the second is received after the final manuscript is submitted. 
  • After publishing, the author gets the Royalty only after enough books are sold to cover the advances. Therefore, the usual Royalty per author is ten per cent. 

Payment of an AVERAGE SELLING author through traditional publishing method-

  • The average sells approximately less than 5000 copies, which means approximately 5000 dollars for a year. 
  • $5,000 royalty cannot even provide income for even a year, yet several authors take more than a year to write their masterpiece. 
  • Sometimes, the authors can get noticed from live streaming platforms and crack approximately half a million dollar deal, but those exceptions are rare compared to average selling books. 

Payment of an author through self-publishing method: 

Self-publishing allows the authors to keep the majority of profits, where the authors can earn 50–90%, depending on the distribution channel. But self-publishing is a big task, where you have to do the majority of work on your own, especially if you haven’t chosen an efficient publishing house. 

Choosing writing profession in India:

While the number of doctors and engineers is almost uncountable in the country, we know just a handful of authors whose whole films have been turned into movies, or people know them by names. In India, the amount of Royalty and advances is seriously low. Therefore 95% of Indian authors can’t live off just by writing novels. 

In no way it should stop you from writing the first novel. Indeed a person is bound with responsibilities that cannot be shrugged off, but that shouldn’t stop you from writing your first novel. So wake up, go to work, come back, have dinner and get to your laptop. Who knows when India gets its other jewel!

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