What do Australian authors earn? Not a lot

24 January 2022

Writing can best be described as a labour of love, if the results of the most recent Australian Society of Authors (ASA) member survey is anything to go by. If you plan to be in it for the money, think again. If the minimum annual wage in Australia is about forty thousand dollars, most writers are making less than half of that.

  • 81% earned less than $15,000 in the last financial year
  • 58% of the total respondents earned between $0 and $1,999 from their creative practice
  • 58% of full-time writers/illustrators reported earning less than $15,000
  • 25% [of full-time writers/illustrators reported] earning between $0 and $1,999

Authors can apply to a number of agencies for funding, though there isn’t a whole of money available to begin with, and the process can be best described as competitive. The survey found over fifty percent of authors had not applied to bodies such as the Australia Council, or the Copyright Agency, since the beginning of January 2020.