UK author income survey: Another publishing bombshell

Image - iStockphoto: icholakov
Image – iStockphoto: icholakov

The topic of our Friday #FutureChat this week, 11 July, will be the ALCS survey news. Join us live on Twitter at 4 p.m. London time, 11 a.m. New York time, 8 a.m. Los Angeles, 5 p.m. Berlin, 3 p.m. GMT.

Brace for impact

The key survey revelations commissioned by the UK’s Authors’ Licensing & Collection Society (ALCS) — with full details to come in the autumn — can be expected to ratchet up an already acute sense of tension between the US-UK creative corps and the corporate entities that publish it.

And while it’s easy to criticise a base of authors squabbling amongst themselves as their leadership explores the potential for labour organisation — just two days ago, the growingly influential Hugh Howey asked Do Writers Need a Union? — a look at the ALCS figures being debated at the House of Commons this evening in Westminster should wipe the smirk off the face of anyone who wants us to believe he or she cares about literature and its artists.

Here, in professionally gathered and analyzed clarity, is what a fast-rising force of newly empowered authors will be quick to slam as the shameful gap between the publishing industry’s avowed reverence for fine writing and its willingness to pay a living wage for it.

As we hear in first comments from the Society of Authors’ Nicola Solomon to The Bookseller, we are coming face-to-face with a remarkable contradiction in concepts of corporate responsibility. Here is an industry which, as Solomon puts it, knows authors to be “100% necessary to the process” — and yet, many will say, views those authors as not worth the job security provided to day labourers and nannies.

The industry of publishing, already staggered, is taking another hit.

By Porter Ander­son | @Porter_Anderson

The FutureBook: #FutureChat recap: Authors in the hot zone

Read the full post at: The Bookseller’s The FutureBook







WD NWC_PorterSWW_PorterPorter WD Annual

Leave a Reply