Novelists create written works that are usually fictional but may be based in part on real-life historical or personal events. Being able to write and sell a first novel is a step in the right direction but writing and selling a number of works usually defines a career as a novelist. The website says that writing a novel is five percent talent and 95 percent hard work. Aspiring novelists usually work independently. They must be self-starters and have the self-discipline to stick to a writing schedule. They should be capable of editing their own work but also they must accept criticism on works in progress and completed novels. When they get a contract from a publisher they must submit the work on schedule or they will be replaced by competing novelists who produce their work in a timely manner. There are no formal educational requirements to become a novelist. Most have a high school education but attending a good liberal arts college and taking a variety of creative writing and literature courses is helpful. The measure of success is in this field is difficult to define. Some novelists define success as getting contracts to publish their work and then getting good reviews in magazines and newspapers. Novelists’ earnings vary greatly and depend on where their writing is published and how many copies are sold. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average annual income is approximately $45500. First-time novelists often work at other jobs to subsidize their writing. Some apply for government or private foundation grants so they can work full-time on completing a novel. In contrast seasoned and well-reviewed novelists often get contract offers from publishers who have not even read their ideas for a new novel.

Education Required: High School Diploma
Avg Salary: $45460
High Salary: $50460
Low Salary: $40460
Tasks: Composes stories that are published as books.
Conducts research related to their stories.
Develops a unique writing style.
Adheres to timeframe set by publisher when writing a new novel.
Also Called: Writer
Fiction Writer
Creative Writer
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