I attended a presentation by Debora Coty, author of The Distant Shore, Billowing Sails, Mom Needs Chocolate, and others. She shared her experiences going from occupational therapist and mother to a author with six books in print six years later.
It was an eye opening session that delved into a variety of writing topics from getting started in a writing a career with magazine articles, how to write query letters for fiction and non-fiction, how to get paid, marketing, agents, editors, etc.
The biggest writing tips that I harvested from the presentation included ommitting "ly" adverbs whenever possible and writing with action verbs. Example: "She walked across the room" can be changed to "She stomped across the room" or "She tip-toed across the room" or "She strode across the room" and each version depicts a different image and meaning for readers.
During the question and answer session a lady asked whether, with six books in print, the author's writing efforts had been profitable. The answer...no. She explained that for beginning writers, royalty payments are usually small ranging from $.60 - $1.00 per book sold.
The biggest tip I took from the session - publishers are interested in working with authors that have a built in audience. Example: As a new author, if you have a newsletter subscribers, an e-mail list, etc. it's an advantage when querying for publication.
You can read more about Debora Coty in the Tampa Tribune.