There is a misconception that famous authors are somehow rich and rolling in the money. So who cares that we pirate their books. That is a misconception. Take what Jeanine Frost had to say about just that two years ago.
Myth # 1: If you’re a writer published in print by a large NY-based house, then you’re making a lot of money. Or, at least, you’ve living off your writing income and you’ve quit your day job.
Very often, this is not true. Again, established authors with solid careers and several books in print often do support themselves writing, but for the new author, things are quite different.
Across the board for fiction in all genres, including both small and large publishing houses, the average advance for a new author for a first book is reportedly $5,000.00. Out of that, if the author has an agent, 15% commission is shaves right off the top. Then, as an author, you’re often encouraged to get a website. The average starting cost of a basic website, if you’re not technically-inclined yourself, is $1,000.00 (and can go way up from there). After that, you have the cost of self-promotion, which can include attending a conference, investing in promotional items, or doing a mailing.
So, what do you have left over? Not much (if anything), and then you have to factor in paying taxes on your writing advance, too. Plus, if you’re intending to write full time, and you don’t have a spouse with health care coverage, then you’re paying out of that advance for your own health care, too.
Still, once your book comes out, you’re getting the big bucks then, right?
Not so fast.
First, your publisher pays themselves back the advance they gave you. Let’s say you’re published in mass market paperback format at $6.99 per book, and your contract reads that you get an 8% royalty on the negotiated sale price of each book (note: book prices and royalty percentages vary within mass market format, plus hardcover or trade paperbacks have different prices/royalties as well). At the $6.99 sale price with an 8% royalty rate, that means an author gets around $.55 (yep, that’s 55 cents) for every book sold. To pay back an average new author advance of $5,000.00, that author would have to sell over nine thousand copies before he or she even begins to earn another dime in royalties on their book.
Now, that doesn’t sound too bad, though. Most new author print runs from large NY houses are at least ten thousand copies, so those houses expect to sell that many books. And some initial print runs are far larger, which means the publisher expects to sell many more books than would cover an initial advance of $5,000.00.
This was taken from Jeaniene's post http://jeanienefrost.com/2010/01/publishing-money-myths/ with her express permission. Click the link to view the full article.
In the end, the cost of an eBook is usually less than a print book reducing the amount the author actually makes. In the end, you hurt your favorite authors by sharing their work without express permission. If their books don't sell, the publishing houses don't buy. And then you wonder why your favorite series hits an abrupt end.
BE APART OF THE SOLUTION, DON'T BE A PIRATE!