Atwood takes stage at TOC and tells publishers to keep feeding their authors

Atwood takes stage at TOC and tells publishers to keep feeding their authors

Author Margaret Atwood used her Tools of Change keynote speech to warn the industry not to eliminate authors, and make sure they are paid enough to "pay for the cheese sandwiches".

eBooknewser reports that Atwood acknowledged the benefits of print and digital books, but she had concerns over authors getting enough money from royalties. Comparing a dead author to a dead moose, which feeds an ecosystem of more than three dozen animals, Atwood warned: “Never eliminate your primary source”. She later compared authors to anchovies, saying they were small in size but large in number, and were on the point of "revolting".

Publishers Marketplace reported that to fellow authors she advised: "Don't panic. If you do and run away, they will think you're prey. There are a lot of publishing tools. One of them is yelling; a very old one." One thing Atwood is yelling for (metaphorically) is to protect authors' "slice of the publishing pie", the site reported.

She defended the role of publishers, and described self-publishing as "delusional".

But she warned that the industry faced difficulties. According to eBookNewser she noted: “eBooks are increasing reading, but they are not increasing how much money authors are making per sale,”


Photo by Pinar Özger.