Thank you for answering my "how much do writers make" question.. I have a follow up question:
So from that 10k advance, you take a percentage for all your hard work. Does that mean that if I want to be a professional writer I should focus on writing MORE books rather than writing THE BOOK, one Great American Novel?
Consider: Assuming you take 20% of the $10,000 commission, that must mean there's tremendous market pressure (read: rent/mortgage) for you to sell a LOT of books to live in New York (if you live in New York). At LEAST 20 books a year. And does THAT mean you, as an agent, seek prolific writers more than gambling on potentially Great Writers?
Let's say you have one dude who squirts words like a dairy cow freebasing recombinent bovine growth hormone. He reliably cranks out 4 decent books a year. Is that writer more valuable to you than signing on 4 people who reliably crank out 1 book per year?
Agent commissions are 15%.
I don't think anyone in their right mind can "crank out" four books a year.
Books don't stop earning once they are published if you've done your job right.
Sub rights kick in to the kitty too.
I find this fascination with money a tad disquieting.
I don't sign clients based on how much money I think I can make. I sign clients who write great books and then I make deals that reflect that.