There are currently an estimated 131,200 authors in the United States. The author job market is expected to grow by 7.6% between 2016 and 2026.

How employable are authors?

CareerExplorer rates authors with a D employability rating, meaning this career should provide weak employment opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10 years, it is expected the US will need 14,300 authors. That number is based on 10,000 additional authors, and the retirement of 4,300 existing authors.

Are authors in demand?

The expansion of web-based publications, in particular, is expected to positively impact the demand for writers and editors. Bloggers and technical writers for interactive media should experience considerable growth opportunities, especially as print magazines, businesses, non-profit organizations, and associations develop exclusively digital content. Journalists and content writers with training in specialized fields such as law, medicine, or economics will likely encounter significant job prospects because of the continuing need to communicate technical information to target audiences. In general, as online publications and services expand and become more sophisticated, authors and editors with Web experience will be in increasing demand. High-tech and electronics industries will need instruction manuals, guides, and training materials written by technically skilled copywriters who are also familiar with very specific subject areas. Despite the diverse need for authors and editors who have adapted to the electronic and digital media, competition is expected to be high and job seekers will likely outnumber job openings. Aspiring novelists, poets, screenwriters, and playwrights will contend with pronounced challenges in what have been professions with traditionally low-success rates for new entrants. However, the declining cost of self-publishing and popularity of electronic books will allow more freelancers to publish their work and increase their chances of success in their chosen fields.

What’s the supply of authors?

The author industry is concentrated in California, New York, Texas

Author job market by state

State Name Employed Authors
California 7,990
New York 7,310
Texas 2,110
Illinois 1,880
Florida 1,710
Massachusetts 1,680
Ohio 1,520
Washington 1,300
Virginia 1,290
Pennsylvania 1,260
District of Columbia 1,170
New Jersey 1,090
Minnesota 1,070
Maryland 1,020
Michigan 840
North Carolina 830
Utah 780
Missouri 730
Georgia 720
Tennessee 710
Oregon 700
Colorado 650
Wisconsin 650
Connecticut 630
Indiana 510
Iowa 450
Arizona 420
Kentucky 360
Louisiana 310
Kansas 300
Nebraska 280
New Hampshire 280
Oklahoma 280
Nevada 260
South Carolina 240
North Dakota 190
Alabama 180
Rhode Island 170
Vermont 160
Mississippi 150
Montana 150
Idaho 150
Maine 140
Alaska 130
Arkansas 120
Hawaii 100
West Virginia 100
New Mexico 90
Delaware 60
South Dakota 60
Puerto Rico 60
Wyoming 40