The All Party Parliamentary Writers Group has launched an inquiry into authors’ earnings.
A call for evidence will run from Thursday (14th June) until 2nd August to uncover the state of writers’ pay and to identify the environment needed “to enable them to flourish in the future”.
The Group is calling on all types of writers, as well as other industry figures including unions, agents and publishers, to contribute.
The inquiry is necessary, according to a Group spokesperson, because two reports into authors’ earnings conducted by the Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society in 2005 and 2013 revealed a “steep decline in both authors’ earnings and the number of authors who made a living from their writing”. Both reports also identified a downward trend regarding authors’ earnings. In 2005 the typical (median) income of a professional author was £12,220 but by 2013 this had fallen to £11,000. The latest update of this survey will be released later this summer.
Views are sought around how authors’ earnings have changed over time, the market pressures and relationship that affect authors’ earnings especially considering the digital and global economy, the impact of the current legislative landscape as well as opportunities to improve the position of authors through legislation and regulation.
Written evidence is requested around the following themes: professional challenges specific to authors such as the regularity of earnings, varied sources of income, how these have changed and the impact on writers’ lives and careers. The society is also calling for information about the position of authors within the creative industries, the market pressures on them and how they have been affected by the development of creative industries in the UK. The impact of Brexit on writers and copyright, how past and developing EU law and regulations have affected authors’ earnings and how this might change.
Evidence should be in a Word format with no more than 3,000 words and have numbered paragraphs. It should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with the title “APWG Earnings Inquiry”.
The findings will be presented at the Group's winter reception on 4th December.
The Group was established to protect and promote authors’ rights and has around 60 members altogether from the House of Commons and House of Lords. For more information, visit the website.