In counter-point to my previous post about what some bestselling crime writers are earning, here’s what author John Scalzi says he has earned strictly from his science fiction writing:
1999: About $400, from Agent readers
2000: About $1000, from Agent readers
2001: About $1100, from Agent readers and a short story sale at Strange Horizons
2002: About $1000, from Agent readers
2003: About $6000, from Agent readers and from first part of advance for Old Man’s War
2004: About $5000, from Agent readers and from first part of advance for The Android’s Dream
2005: About $15,000, from second part of OMW advance, first part of The Ghost BrigadesAgent to the Stars hardcover, and short story sale to Subterranean Press.
2006: About $67,000.
Scalzi has other sources of writing income outside of his SF genre work, but this gives you a view of what earnings are like for a successful and acclaimed author in a particular genre who is not a megastar.
(Note: Agent refers to Agent of the Stars, a book that Scalzi offered online)