Governments Must Acknowledge Changed Nature of Authorship
ALLi Calls on Creative Industry Bodies in Six Countries to Include Entrepreneurial Author Training and Support
in Literature, Publishing and Business Programs
London, UK, November 30, 2018 — Ten years after the widespread adoption of self-publishing by the author community, the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) is calling on the governments in six individual publishing territories—Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, UK and US—to recognize the entrepreneurial nature of the new indie author.
“Governments must acknowledge the increasing business, knowledge and social contributions of indie authors to the economy,” says Orna Ross, director and founder of ALLi. “It’s time creative industry leaders, at all levels, stepped up and engaged in global analysis and support of these pioneering author-businesses.”
Government bodies, including ministries responsible for business, entrepreneurship, culture, intellectual property, the knowledge economy, and related industry organizations must get better at identifying, tracking, quantifying, and supporting independent authors and other creative digital micro-businesses.
Ross recently appeared on behalf of ALLi before the UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for Writers, which earlier this year launched an inquiry into authors’ earnings and seeks to understand what writers need in order to succeed.
“Author earnings in the trade publishing sector have been plummeting while publisher profits increase,” says Ross. “And that is indeed a concern. However, we miss out on the true picture unless we also look at the vibrant self-publishing sector. Independent and self-published authors are excluded from much current research and analysis, giving us highly skewed data and leading to widespread misinformation.”
Authors are part of the creative economy, one of the most dynamic and fastest-growing sectors in all six targeted territories. Their digital micro-businesses operate at the intersection between technology, culture, the broader economy, and wider society. Their creative products and services, including books and other text, video, audio, and the associated publishing expertise—design, editorial, digital distribution and marketing—rely on new knowledge and skills and require the ability to seize new opportunities.
“The creative economy… is highly transformative in terms of income generation, job creation and export earnings. (It) also generates non-monetary value that contributes significantly to achieving people-centered, inclusive and sustainable development.” – Greenfund’s Creative Economy Report
If we are to help authors to succeed in the digital age, we need governments to set up new programs to provide business skills and mindset training for authors. Such training and support will help move authors beyond the realm of traditional grants and aid, and into an investment that is more likely to benefit the broader economy. Successful independent authors create jobs, hire other professionals, earn more income, and pay more tax.
The Alliance of Independent Authors 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 the building of sustainable digital businesses.
- One in four U.S. readers (the most developed digital market) now read e-books. Self-publishing accounts for 24-34% of all ebook sales in each of the largest English-language markets.
- Self-publishing platforms take English-language ebooks into 190 countries (2018)
- Of the top-selling ebook authors in the US (the most developed self-publishing market), 28% are indie.
- As of 2018, 10% of ALLi members have sold more than 50,000 books in the past two years.
- In the US, the arts and cultural sector contributed over $763.6 billion to the economy in 2015—more than the agriculture, transportation, or warehousing sectors. Of that amount, $22 billion was added by independent artists, writers, and performers. – National Endowment for the Arts
- Publishing in the US is a $1 trillion industry – Small Business Development Centre Network
- In the UK in 2016, the creative sector contributed £91.8bn gross value added (GVA), which was bigger than the automotive, life sciences, aerospace, oil and gas sectors combined. – Creative Industries Federation
- The direct economic contribution of UK publishing industry is £3.2bn (2017) – The Frontier Economics Report for the UK Publisher’s Association
- In Canada, culture’s economic impact is significant, contributing $54.6 billion per year to the economy and providing 630,000 jobs for Canadians. – Creative Canada Policy Framework
- Book publishing in Canada is a $1.7 billion industry – Ontario Media Development Corporation
- In Ireland, the creative sector represents only about three per cent of total Irish employment. “The creative sector in Ireland are under recognised, under-valued and have difficulty getting financial support.” – Frank Crowley, Cork University Business School
- Bookselling contributes €132m to Irish economy
- Australia’s creative economy is growing at nearly twice the rate of the Australian rest of the economy – An Exploding Creative Economy Shows Innovation Policy Shouldn’t Focus Only on STEM
- Employment in the creative services sector is growing on average by nearly three times the rate of the Australian workforce – QUT Digital Media Research Centre
- In New Zealand, creative industries contribute more than $1.7 billion to the economy (2015). – Employment and national GDP impacts of music, book publishing, film and television and games in New Zealand
- The book publishing industry directly contributed $167m to national gross domestic product (GDP) in New Zealand (2015) – Economic Contribution of the New Zealand Book Publishing Industry 2015
ALLi Communications Manager