Authors 'more committed to agent than publisher'

Authors 'more committed to agent than publisher'

Authors are more committed to their agent than to their publisher, according to early results from a survey of traditionally published writers. However, when asked about the possibility of self-publishing, only a minority of authors were excited at the prospect, with the majority (75%), either neutral or horrified at the thought of taking control.

The "Do You Love Your Publisher?" survey was launched last week and is co-produced by Jane Friedman in the States and Harry Bingham in the UK. It will be available to traditionally published authors to complete until 31st March. The hashtag #authorsay is being used on Twitter in relation to the survey.

According to Friedman, the goal is to “see how traditionally published authors are feeling about the choices now available, how they're leaning”. The survey asks authors a range of questions, from the level of advance they most recently received to how satisfied they were with their cover design. Of the authors who have so far completed the survey, one-third were published by a “big five” publisher, and a further 20% published by a “large trade publisher”. The majority of writers had published six or more titles already, with half the respondents indicating that they had self-published at least one title, while a further 25% reported that they had “seriously considered” self-publishing.

However, the survey has so far showed that authors are broadly satisfied with their publisher with 80% happy with their cover design, and 70% happy with the copyediting received. But some authors felt let down by the marketing and levels of communication. When asked if they would switch publisher if a similar house came along with the same deal, 39% said they would move, with 31% indicating that they would stay. When asked the same question about their agents, 45% of the surveyed writers said they would stay.

Thirty-two questions long, the survey draws its "Do You Love Your Publisher?" title from a poll Bingham made of some 300 professional UK authors in 2012.

The results of the latest survey will published in The Bookseller on 10th April. The survey can be taken here, with more detail here.