Don't quit your day job. Ever.
Turns out you can't really live on writing anymore (used to be just poets, but now we're all in the mix)--but if you happen to be one of lucky ones, you have to spend all your money on stone and brick walls to keep the public away.
Of particular note (and an excellent mini-text for future reference) is the breakdown of costs of producing a book / showing where the money goes--and ''your pocket" isn't one of the bigger portions.
ON A £20 HARDBACK:
An average of £11 goes to the bookseller/retailer 55%
£2 goes to the author (the royalty for authors on hardcovers will rise to 15%; but as high discount clauses kick in it is safe to average the author royalty at 10%).
The cost of producing the book will be about £2 10%
The cost of distribution will be £1 5%
An average of 50p will be spent on promotion 2.5%
The remaining £3.50 pays the publisher's bills and wages (10%), plus stock and royalty write-offs, which average out at £1.50 7.5%