Let's dispel a publishing myth--most of us are not going to get rich on our first book, or maybe not even the second--or any of them. Ya can't be in it for the money, folks . . . it's gotta be about the love of telling a great story. It's the lucky few, who can actually make a living at writing fiction. David Morrell quotes a figure something like, as few as 2,500 fiction authors in the US can make a living at it. The huge advances we read about are absolutely the exception.
It's rude to ask people how much money they make--even authors--which for some strange reason, many people seem to feel are exempt from polite social norms. I guess people feel like writing a book is such an exotic career--or endeavor, that non-writers feel it's okay to rudely ask an author the amount of her/his advance. It is not!
So what's a newbie writer who wants to evaluate her earning potential to do? Go to Brenda Hiatt's 'Show me The Money". This is a current list of what romance publishers pay for advances, future books, and earn-outs. It's a wonderful easy way to educate yourself and create realistic financial expectations. Take a look and let me know what you think.