APWG Report on Author Earnings Misses the Mark
Report on Author Earnings Sends Wrong Message to Writers and Misses the Opportunity in Self-Publishing
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday, June 11, 2019, London, UK.
There’s a revolution underway in the publishing industry. Independent authors are writing, publishing, licensing rights, and earning significant incomes in one or more business models. But the All-Party Writers Group’s (APWG) report on author earnings released today remains stuck in the age-old earnings battle between trade publishers and their content providers.
“Until author organizations embrace the fact that the global publishing landscape has changed and authors are often better off when they self-publish,” says Orna Ross, founder and director of the Alliance of Independent Authors, “authors will continue to grapple with sub-par earnings.”
ALLi’s Ross presented to the UK All-Party Writers Group Inquiry into Author Earnings in December 2018, saying we need to talk about the future of authorship in completely different terms. Her deposition focused on business models and opportunity for authors in a transformed publishing landscape.
While applauding APWG, the inquiry and other associations who speak on behalf of authors and draw attention to falling incomes for some authors, ALLi’s position is that the focus of the report is a missed opportunity.
Continuing to study and write reports about the sad state of author earnings without including or considering any of the benefits of author-publishing helps ensure authors remain mired in a psychology of dependence (on trade publishers) rather than encouraging the development of the entrepreneurial, empowered, growth mindset of the successful independent author.
Ross says that aspiring writers hoping for a trade-publishing contract despair over their chances of ever being ‘published’, while complaints about publishers and agent are widespread among trade-published authors. In contrast, independent authors embrace the responsibility of producing great books, reaching enough readers, and running an author business.
“While neither pathway is easy,” says Ross, “digital self-publishing is an empowered choice in an expanding market, with significant potential for growth in the authors’ own hands, whereas the old model relies on others and can only ever cater to a small percentage of authors.”
This is the message of ALLi’s Self-publishing 3.0 Campaign which encourages today’s authors to self-publish in multiple formats, on multiple platforms, in multiple territories and to consider ten possible business models which can provide the sort of sustainable and consistent author income that was not possible pre-digital.
“This is the message we should be sending to authors concerned about income,” says Ross. “And the facts that should be of interest to all concerned. More than a decade after digital self-publishing transformed the marketplace, why are we still issuing reports that ignore its existence and potential?”
The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) is the only global, non-profit association for self-publishing writers. ALLi aims to foster excellence and ethics in self-publishing; to support authors in the making and selling of their books; and to advocate for author independence through publishing skills, creative entrepreneurship and digital business development.
- More than 10 percent of ALLi’s global membership have sold more than 50,000 books.
- Independent authors choose to self-publish to retain creative control, generate higher royalties, and maximize their earning potential.
- Indie authors distribute, sell, and market their books globally, not in a single country.
- Indie authors are entrepreneurial minded, invested in the success of their author careers, creative directors of their author and publishing businesses, hiring others to help them with things like editing, proofreading, cover and interior design, marketing and promotion.
- Psychology of Successful Self-Publishing
- Self-Publishing 3.0 Campaign
- ALLi media release: Governments Must Acknowledge Changed Nature of Authorship
ALLi Communications & Media Manager