According to a survey of almost 2,500 working writers – the first comprehensive study of author earnings in the UK since 2005 – the median income of the professional author in 2013 was just £11,000, a drop of 29% since 2005 when the figure was £12,330 (£15,450 if adjusted for inflation), and well below the £16,850 figure the Joseph Rowntree Foundation says is needed to achieve a minimum standard of living. The typical median income of all writers was even less: £4,000 in 2013, compared to £5,012 in real terms in 2005, and £8,810 in 2000.
Despite headlines about record-breaking deals – most recently for a slice of One Direction fan fiction, which earned Anna Todd a mid-six-figure deal with Simon & Schuster – the "vast majority" of writers receive advances that are well below the level that would make them equivalent to a salary, said Smythe. "I know very few writers who earn above the Minimum Income Standard, and that means that they need second jobs," said Smythe. "Awards and critical acclaim used to be enough, in the heady days of 1970s publishing. It's simply not, now.
"Most people know that a few writers make a lot of money. This survey tells us about the vast majority of writers, who don't," said Cope. "It's important that the public should understand this – and why it is so important for authors to be paid fairly for their work."I guess for me, this is why it's important to push the value of reading in our society. Those of us who are readers (and writers) assume that the rest of the world are like we are. And even if we have a vague idea that there are fewer people reading we don't take it terribly seriously, because well, we're reading and some people we know are reading so it will be okay. In fact, statistics show that fewer people are reading and fewer people will continue to read unless there is a push give a love of reading back to children. We have drained the life out of it with testing and reading levels and time limits, etc. It's time to give kids back imagination and fun! The love of a good book!!
In that vein, I remember what gave me a LOVE for reading: my second grade teacher used to read aloud to us. Specifically she read the Boxcar Children and Ramona the Pest. Her dramatic readings took me to the school library where I began my own forays into the many beloved titles.
What gave you a love for reading?