In January 2021, I sent out a survey on Author Streams of Income to my email list and shared it on my podcast and on social media. It included a list of income streams with options to select multiple items and I asked for any others I might have forgotten, as well as tips for writers who wanted to pursue these opportunities.
738 writers responded. 94% make income from multiple streams.
6% of respondents had only one stream of writing income — either freelance writing, traditional publishing, or self-publishing ebooks only.
It is really encouraging to see so many authors making income in different ways! For more ideas, and quotes from authors who responded to the survey, check out How to Make a Living With Your Writing, Third Edition: Turn Your Words Into Multiple Streams of Income.
Summary of main income streams
Respondents could select multiple options on the list or add their own. This is the percentage of the total who selected each option.
84% — Self-publishing ebook sales
77% — Self-publishing print sales
36% — Selling books direct
27% — Self-publishing audiobook sales
26% — Teaching or speaking live or online
26% — Freelance writing and/or ghostwriting
23% — Traditional publishing advance and royalties
22% — Affiliate income
19% — Consulting and/or coaching
19% — Author services
12% — Online course sales
10% — Patronage e.g. Patreon
9% — Merchandise
6% — Licensing foreign rights
6% — Advertising revenue e.g. podcast or YouTube
3% — Licensing subsidiary rights e.g. film/TV options
2% — Crowdfunding e.g. Kickstarter
Thank you to everyone who responded to the survey. I read every comment and suggestion and while not every tip is quoted in the book, it’s heartening to see so many income streams and ideas.
For more ideas, and quotes from authors who responded to the survey, check out How to Make a Living With Your Writing, Third Edition: Turn Your Words Into Multiple Streams of Income.