Authors, Libraries and the gov.

Another post, because I thought that this blog shouldn’t just be my writing progress and whatnot, but issues that are important to me, as a writer, and other writers. And this is one, authors not getting royalties from libraries for their books.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/jul/22/authors-royalty-volunteer-libraries

As it stands this doesn’t effect me directly. The libraries that have my book have them because they were donated there, so I get no royalties from them at all. To get your book in a library the traditional way requires your book to be listed with the right distributing company, which in turn has its own requirements. My publisher, being Australian based, doesn’t know all the ins and outs of UK companies and set up, so I’m not listed with them. Other small print companies, UK based, or those with UK knowledge, might be and they will certainly be effected, as will any main stream published author.

Being an author doesn’t mean you will make lots of cash. As the article said, the average is under 10K a year. We need whatever we can get, not to be greedy, but to live! Besides which, we work hard on our books, don’t we deserve some sort of payment for them when they’re checked out? Song writers get money for their work whenever that song is played on the radio, film makers get money when their films are seen, in cinema, or rented, or shown on tv. Why should authors be any different? The library is like the radio, to us, a place where people can get to know us and our books, without paying for them. If they like it they can buy it afterwards, just as someone can buy a song, or download it, if they like what they hear on the radio.

I know that libraries have it hard, many are closing, many are run by volunteers, but this isn’t helping. This is only continuing to dump on those who can’t afford it and it may come that authors won’t be able to afford to write full time, to spend so much time producing decent books, and I think everyone who loves to read will suffer as a result of that.

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