The median annual income of professional authors in the UK has dropped 29% in 10 years, down to about 23,000 USD a year. I don't even want to think about what professional writers in the US are making, as it's likely a comparable figure. The hardest part about being a college student is often being told how dismal the job market is getting. Let me finish my degree first, thanks! Everyone knows that very few writers make enough to even match what a typical salary might, and reaching the minimum standard of living is really difficult. The novel is dying, and the author's ability to make money is dying with it.