Writing is a fascinating field. It is not only personally rewarding but also financially feasible if done right. The writing industry in New Zealand is vast and covers various genres, including journalism, fiction, non-fiction, poetry and academic writing. The industry has changed significantly due to technology and digital publishing, and is thriving as a result.
This article will explore how much money one can make as a writer in New Zealand, using examples from successful New Zealand writers.
1. Freelance writing
Freelance writing is one of the most popular forms of writing in New Zealand. Freelance writers work for themselves. Their income is based on the number of clients they have, their type of writing and their experience. Freelance writers can earn between $40 and $100 per hour, while freelance journalists make $75 to $300 per article, depending on the word count.
Another way that freelance writers can earn money is through copywriting. Copywriting involves writing sales copy for businesses, such as product descriptions, advertisements and promotional materials. Copywriters can earn between $40 and $100 per hour.
Self-publishing is becoming increasingly popular. Writers who publish their own work through online platforms such as Amazon or Kobo can earn up to 70% of the revenue from their sales, which can amount to a considerable income.
One successful self-published writer in New Zealand is Deborah Challinor. She has written several best-selling historical fiction books. Challinor earns a six-figure income from her writing and has sold over 500,000 copies of her books.
3. Traditional publishing
Traditional publishing is still a viable way for writers to earn money in New Zealand. Traditional publishers pay writers an advance against royalties. This means that the writer gets paid upfront for their work. Once sales have covered the value or the advance, the author begins to earn royalties based on the number of books sold. What percentage of sales can the author expect to receive in royalties? This source states that it is 10% of the retail price for hardcovers and 7.5% for paperbacks.
Catherine Robertson is a successful, traditionally published writer. Robertson has written several novels, which have become best-sellers in both New Zealand and Australia. Robertson’s most successful book, The Sweet Second Life of Darrell Kincaid, earned her a six-figure advance and has sold over 50,000 copies in New Zealand alone.
4. Academic writing
Academic writing can be lucrative in New Zealand. Academic writers produce material for universities, research institutions and government agencies. They can earn between $50 and $150 per hour. Again, this depends on their experience and the kind of writing they produce.
Freelance writing, self-publishing, traditional publishing and academic writing are just some of the most fruitful ways to earn money. And while naysayers believe that writing is a low-income profession, there are plenty of opportunities for skilled writers to earn a decent living in New Zealand.