Authors Don't Get Rich

An article yesterday in the UK newspapers discssed the financial situation of the Duchess of York - you remember her, the one who ditched her royal husband but hung onto the title? Well, it seems that her foray into publishing books, her autobiography and childrens books, wasn't as successful as imagined.

Authors always roll our eyes at the 'celebrity books', most of them ghost written and published purely for the recognisable name on the cover. I never did understand the point of that. If they want to write a book, write it - don't hire someone to do it for them? I mean they wouldn't hire someone to have a baby for them?
Oh, hang on-scratch that.

Anyway, it seems the DoY's autobiography, published at the height of her notoriety in 1997, raked in £2million. However since then, she has brought out more than a dozen books - all of which grossed only a little over £127,000. Her self-help book, 'What I Know Now', published in 2003 only sold 802 copies. She has also written childrens' books, the Little Red Series, the latest of which came out last month and has so far sold 58 copies. And yet - there is talk of an animated film being brought out for these stories. despite mediocre sales.

The writer of this article conceded, amongst the bitching, that, 'not many authors, apart from an elite few, can make a handsome living out of writing books'.

Is that hope for us all, or the bell of doom tolling?


Lisa Yarde said…
I say keep hope alive. There are authors in fiction who are making a comfortable living and then some, on just their writing. It all depends on what each of us wants to achieve in publishing and whether we having the drive, skill and LUCK to make it happen.
Shhh!!! Don't tell my husband!
Glynis said…
A true case of not what you know but who...oh and a royal title helps!
Furniture said…
I agree with Glynis, sometimes it is about “who you know” (Although I have not read DoY, so I cannot give an opinion whether I like it or not)…Celebrities should know better, some of them are a bit smarter and just write books for kids, like Madonna, although…it is not children’s fault!!!!! Poor kids!! I guess it all depends…some authors say they write without thinking about being published while there are others, an Argentine poet, saying that he first thinks about being published and then he writes. One thing is true: it is not a matter of numbers and sales whether a text is worthy or not!!!!!!
Janet said…
I write children's books and none have been published yet. I think very few children's writers can make a living from writing books. I guess we have to be happy doing what we do and hope that every now and then we make a little money from it. Who knows, we may just get lucky some day.

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