How Much Does Writing Your Novel Cost You?

By Holly Lisle

I’ve put together a data-collection survey to figure out how much it costs the average writer to write a novel.

The survey is open to anyone who has ever started a book, not just those who have finished one.

I’m asking for information on the time it takes you to come up with ideas, research and do background, develop characters, write false starts, write full books, revise those books, and mail those books to editors and agents.

The questions are data collection: I’ll have to take the data, add up hours worked on various tasks, average them, and the apply them to low-end, high-end, and averaged writers’ incomes (NOT your income from writing unless writing is your job—just your hourly wage, or what your hourly wage would be if you were employed). I’ll come up with figures on the cost of developing a novel all the way to the send-off stage, and will report the information in about a week.

The survey is absolutely anonymous.

If you would be willing to estimate times it takes you to do various writing tasks, and would be willing to figure how much you make per hour in US dollars (walkthroughs, calculators, and foreign-currency conversion calculators are available for the income question if you need them), I would be very grateful.

The link to the survey is here:

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