Being an author never stahps. We can’t really clock out in the same way a desk job does (although, arguably, there are ways to do that.) Creativity, however, doesn’t work a 9-5, which throws kinks into our system—and the wages we’re paid.

While my photographer and I hiked to our first spot on a photo shoot, she confessed she’d woken up at three am, bombarded by ideas. “I tried to explain to my husband that it doesn’t just turn off,” she said. “I end up working way more than just during the photo shoot.”

Can I get an AMEN from my authors out there?

My Hourly Wages

So I decided to put together a few numbers to see what kind of money authors would make if we were paid what we work.

Note: I attempted to do this for indie authors in general, but life, schedules, genre, and other considerations played too great a variation. This is a conservative estimate of an average day/week in my life.

If I Was Paid What I Work

My typical daily schedule as an Indie Author Mom:

7 am: 20 minutes checking emails while LM throws his breakfast to the dogs.
8 am: 30 minutes approving audiobook files while lifting weights.
9 am: 10 minutes jotting down ideas/notes in aisles of grocery store.
10 am: 15 minutes brainstorming while driving.
11 am: 60 minutes writing during naptime
12 pm: 60 minutes writing during nap time
1 pm: A girls’ gotta eat
2 pm: 20 minutes mental plotting while chasing LM at park
30 minutes brainstorming while hiking with dogs and LM
3 pm: Breathe
4 pm: 30 minute Skype phone call with team member while LM sorts rocks.
5 pm: 15 minutes brainstorming while fixing dinner.
6 pm: Husband time
7 pm: 30 minutes emails/business/social media after Husband time.
8 pm: 60 minutes writing
9 pm: 60 minutes writing
10 pm: 60 minutes writing

Typical hours worked per day: 8.3 hours or 500 minutes
Typical hours worked per week: 48 hours or 2,880 minutes
Total books I sold last week: 95
Average royalty per book (this is highly variable): $1.25
Average money earned last week: $118.75


As a working Indie Author Mom, I earned an average of $2.47 per hour last week.Click To Tweet


Granted, this changes around and is based on a conservative estimate. Some weeks are less, while some weeks are higher. (I remember a time in the not-so-distant-past when I would have been making $0.01 an hour on my books). But on average—at this point in my career—I’m making about $2.00 per hour.


What kind of hours do you work?

How much do you think you make for the time/mental/emotion effort you put into writing? Let me know in the comments!