Nicola Solomon

Chief executive of the Society of Authors, Nicola Solomon

The news may not be surprising, but traditional publishing offers fewer opportunities and less renumeration these days for authors in the UK, as detailed in this article published in The Guardian. Figures released by the Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Socity show a 29% reduction in the median annual income of professional authors, down to £11,000 (USD 18,828).

Nicola Solomon, who heads the 9,000-member strong Society of Authors, said that publishers, retailers and agents are all now taking a larger slice of the profit when a book is sold, and that while “authors’ earnings are going down generally, those of publishers are increasing”.

“Authors need fair remuneration if they are to keep writing and producing quality work,” she said. “Publisher profits are holding up and, broadly, so are total book sales if you include ebooks but authors are receiving less per book and less overall due mainly to the fact that they are only paid a small percentage of publishers’ net receipts on ebooks and because large advances have gone except for a handful of celebrity authors.”

This essential unfairness is likely one more reason why many authors are turning to self-publishing (illustrated by the  79% increase in the UK market for self-published books in 2013).

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