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Weekly Write-Up: 6th February 2019

by Tom Ashford

Welcome to the SPF Weekly Write-Up, where each Wednesday we collect together the self-publishing news of the week so you don’t have to.

This week: Amazon pushed back at report on author earnings, an asylum-seeker wins the top Australian literary prize, and an author has over half of their books optioned for films.

Author Earnings – Amazon Strikes Back

A few weeks ago we reported that the Authors Guild found that US authors are earning less per year than ever, dropping from an average of $12,850 in 2007 to just $6,080 in 2017. Well, Amazon have responded – and they’ve called the report flawed.

“The Authors Guild has acknowledged that there are significant differences between the data it compared in its recent survey and years prior, noting that ‘the data does not line up’,” responded Amazon. “As a result, many of the survey’s conclusions are flawed or contradictory. For instance, the survey also shows that earnings increased almost 17% for traditionally published authors and 89% for independent authors, and that full-time authors saw their median income rise 13% since 2013.”

Mary Rasenberger, of the Authors Guild, did say that “it was a good sign that self-publishing income had increased, and that overall writing-related earnings had stayed similar to 2013, rising for respondents who had been publishing for more than five years. “This suggests that authors who are still in the business are getting better at finding ways to bring in supplemental income related to their writing.””

You can read the original article in the Guardian newspaper here.

Asylum-Seeker Wins Australian Literary Prize

A Kurdish-Iranian asylum-seeker has won Australia’s most highest-paying literary prize… but couldn’t attend the award ceremony because he’s being held in the country’s offshore detention centre.

Behrouz Boochani won the (approximately) $90,000 USD prize for his book, ‘No Friend but the Mountains,’ which he wrote entirely through WhatsApp for fear of having his manuscript confiscated. His translator then put the book together (and accepted the award in his stead).

An amazing achievement… though it probably wasn’t quite worth being detained for five years. You can read more about his incredible story in the original article, here.

Seven Books Written, Four Books Optioned

Here’s an encouraging little story to finish with.

A.G. Riddle was a businessman with no previous experience in writing when he decided to write and self-publish his first book, ‘The Atlantis Gene’. He’s gone on to write another six books, including two more books in that trilogy – which has gone on to sell more than two million copies in the United States alone. That trilogy, along with his fourth book, ‘Departure’, have all been optioned for feature films. Not bad at all!

You can read more about this lucky author here and check out the SPS podcast we recorded with him back in 2016 here.

Tom Ashford

Tom Ashford

Tom Ashford is a professional copywriter, author of numerous dark fantasy and sci-fi novels, and the Head of Content at the Self Publishing Formula Blog. His books include the Blackwater trilogy and the Checking Out series.

He lives in London with his wife, in an apartment that doesn’t allow pets. Find out more about Tom here.