Hi there again LdSP!
You follow the blogs so I’m sure you’ve already seen this one. I thought it was an excellent rundown of the different kinds of published authors out there in the big wide world.
So let’s take this info and relate it to the infinitesimal world of LDS publishing.
The way I see it, you have the Jennie Hansens, the Michelle Bells, the Chris Heimerdingers, people like that whom I would assume would be in the # 2 tier. Not criticizing their writing; it’s just that I can’t say (and I’m sure we all know) there aren’t any Pulitzer-Prize winning LDS-themed books out there.
Then you have the little people in the #3 tier like me who are scraping the bottom of the mid-list barrel hoping to find the widow’s mite.
As for #4, I don’t know what to say about the one-hit wonders other than I am working very hard and hoping I won’t be one of them.
I’d love to hear your two cents clinking as they hit the bottom of the think tank!
I wish you a Merry Christmas too--although my comments are going to sound very Scroogey.
Take the income levels hinted at in that post and reduce them down to 1/10th and that's about what you can expect LDS authors in those various tiers to be earning.
Can an LDS fiction author live comfortably off their royalties? Depends on how you define comfortably. There are a few who have enough titles in print selling well that they are making $40,000 plus a year on royalties. But it's a very small group. [And just between the two of us, sometimes I am very surprised to learn who they are because they're not always the best writers.]
It is almost impossible to support yourself (with or without a family) when writing exclusively for any small niche market (including ours)--unless you are able to position yourself as one of the top 10 highly recognizable names in the industry. It's easier for non-fiction writers, but not much.
So, if you want to write LDS fiction AND make a living at writing, you have to branch out and be willing to write in other areas. Write LDS and national. Ghost write or co-author. Write for magazines. Write ad copy or business writing. Do technical manuals or text books. The more you limit your focus, the more you limit your income potential.