I’ve received enough emails lately to make me realize that folks are fascinated by what constitutes a writer’s life. I decided to reveal the naked truth from my perspective using the uncompromising language of numbers.
Please keep in mind that these statistics are only a reflection of my work. Me, little ole mid-list cozy mystery author, but I hope they fill in some of the blanks.
Number of books I’ll have published by the end of 2011 — 15
Number of author names I’ve used or will use — 4 (Ellery Adams, J. B. Stanley, Jennifer Stanley, and I’m ½ of Lucy Arlington)
Average page count per book — 300
Average word count per book — 87,000
Number of publishers I’ve written for — 3
Average number of series I’m writing at once – 3
Average advance received from publisher — $6,000 per book
Average amount paid for large print or foreign rights — $500 or $1000
Average amount of advance spent on promotion — 25% of advance
Average money my publishers give me for promotion — 0
Average time it takes me to write a completed draft — 6 months
Average positive emails I receive per week from readers — 6
Average negative emails I receive per week — 1 (These are usually to point out a typo or to complain about a character’s conduct)
Number of personal copies I receive of each title — 50
Time it took me to sign with an agent — 5 months
Time it took my agent (Jessica Faust) to sell my first series — 2 months
Average number of conferences I attend per year — 3
Average number of library talks per year — 2
Average number of times I check my sales ranking on Amazon per day — 5
My writing income based on my 2010 tax return — $18,000
Days per year I work — 360 (This is not an exaggeration. I consider promotion work, and unless I am sick or am forced to be away from a computer, I find time every day to write, edit, promote, or research.)
Age I knew I wanted to become a writer — 7
Number of canceled series — 2 (the Molly Appleby collectible series and the Hope Street Church series)
Number of new series debuting in 2012 – 2 (The Charmed Pie Shoppe mysteries by Ellery Adams and The Novel Idea Literary Agency series by Lucy Arlington)
Series I’m planning to continue as ebooks only — 2
Current income from my sole ebook title (uploaded in March) — $250
Times I’d trade this life for another — Every time one of my books is released and fails to make the NYT list. And then I get over myself and go right back to work.
Did I miss anything? Not strip things down enough? Go ahead and ask me a question. I’ll tell you anything and you’ll get the bare bones truth.
Ellery Adams is the national bestselling author of the Books by the Bay mysteries. Her most recent title, A Deadly Cliche, was released in March. Her next book, The Last Word, comes out in December. For more info, visit www.elleryadamsmysteries.com.