His Dark Materials author Philip Pullman is heading a new charge from writers demanding to be rewarded fairly for their work, as the Society of Authors warns that unless “serious” changes are made by publishers, the professional author “will become an endangered species”.
“From our positions as individual creators, whether of fiction or non-fiction, we authors see a landscape occupied by several large interests, some of them gathering profits in the billions, some of them displaying a questionable attitude to paying tax, some of them colonising the internet with projects whose reach is limitless and whose attitude to creators’ rights is roughly that of the steamroller to the ant,” said Pullman.
“It’s a daunting landscape, far more savage and hostile to the author than any we’ve seen before. But one thing hasn’t changed, which is the ignored, unacknowledged, but complete dependence of those great interests on us and on our talents and on the work we do in the quiet of our solitude. They have enormous financial and political power, but no creative power whatsoever. Whether we’re poets, historians, writers of cookery books, novelists, travel writers, that comes from us alone. We originate the material they exploit.”
The society wants authors to receive at least 50% of ebook revenue, rather than 25%, and is also asking publishers not to discriminate against writers “who don’t have powerful agents”.
See the letter from the Society of Authors. An open letter to Britain’s publishers.
See the complete article in the Guardian.
My only comment is that the article / letter should state traditionally published authors. The self-published already get the asked-for royalty and more.