French authors happier with publishers

French authors happier with publishers

French authors are increasingly satisfied with their publishers, according to the third annual survey conducted by the Civil Society for Multimedia Authors (Scam).

The latest results show that 71% of respondents are satisfied, up from 69% in 2010 and 64% in 2009. But payment of royalties remains a problem, as only 49% of publishers pay on time, 38% do so from time to time and 13% never do.

In addition, only a quarter of authors are ever informed when foreign rights to their books have been sold, while 32% compared to 28% in 2010 were told when their books were pulped and 52% against 46% rarely or never received royalties for audiovisual or foreign rights for their books.

Advances declined slightly between 2010 and 2011 to 64% of contracts, with those of more than €3,000 dropping to 33% from 37%. The vast majority of authors continue to negotiate their own deals with publishers, easing slightly to 94% from 96% in 2010 and 97% in 2009. 

Of the total, 42% of authors’ contracts include a clause covering electronic rights, while 23% have been approached to sign amendments to print contracts and 3% have concluded separate contracts.

Of the 3,000 authors questioned last December and January, 600 responded. Of them, 45% had signed a contract with a publisher in 2010 or 2011. The survey was carried out to coincide with the Paris Book Fair, which opens on Friday [18th March] for four days.