Let me put it this way: If you sell a romance novel to a major New York publisher, you can expect to make about the same money as someone who lands a role in a Hollywood movie.
Not what you wanted to hear, is it? Because to make any sense of that comparison, you'd need to know:
- Whether we're talking about a major motion picture or a B movie
- Whether the actor in question is Tom Cruise or Udolpho Unknown
- Whether it's the lead role or just a walk-on part that's liable to end up on the cutting room floor
I imagine there's a pretty wide gulf between what Tom gets for a "Mission Impossible" film and what Udolpho Unknown might expect to earn for his walk-on part in a low-budget horror flick. And so it is with romance novelists. The romance community has a few Toms, a number of Udolphos, and a whole lot of people in between. Everywhere in between. I have heard of romance authors making less than $8,000 on a mass-market paperback novel. I have also heard of them making $80,000.
What might you make? I have no idea. But I would suggest that the time to begin wondering whether you should quit your day job is after you start selling books.
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