Saturday 19 December 2015

An author asks for help on where to send the money

Writers as a group are not amongst the better paid so it might seem odd to find a group of authors whose profits are routinely shared with others. But such groups exist and in the one I'm writing about a new author is asking for help in deciding which charity should benefit from her début novel. Firstly, a bit of background:

A recent comprehensive survey by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society showed not only below-minimum-wage returns, but that writers’ earnings were going down. Contrast this with the creative industries as a whole, one of the few sectors whose overall contribution to the economy remained steady and even went up through 2008 and the on-going recession.

Now focus on an old publishing model and a fairly new publishing house. The original publishing model was a profit share between writer and publisher. That didn't last the transition of publishing to multinational conglomerate status whilst writing remained a cottage industry. The writer became, very decidedly, the poor relation.

However, some small publishers are veering back towards the original model. Fantastic Books Publishing with whom several Hornsea Writers are involved doesn't just work to a profit-share model, they also take 10% from their book sale profits and give it to charity. The authors choose the charity to benefit from sales of their book.

The charity model has been discussed on their own blogs by various of Fantastic Books’ established authors:

Why I have chosen Mind by John Scotcher
Charity begins at home by Drew Wagar
The Great North Run by Stuart Aken

Fantastic Books’ newest author, Melodie Trudeaux, has yet to decide which charity will benefit from her book sales, but she says, ‘Horse of a Different Colour is a children’s adventure tale. It might be appropriate if it earned money for a horsey charity, but there are so many good causes that I can’t make up my mind.’

If you want to help Melodie decide, please visit her blog HERE and leave your suggestions.

John Scotcher is author of The Boy in Winter’s Grasp
Drew Wagar is author of Elite: Reclamation  and Shadeward: Emanation
Stuart Aken is author of M.E. and Me. and the Seared Sky trilogy

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