After UK Society of Authors head Nicola Solomon wrote to TeleRead in the wake of the release of the UK Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS) report on author earnings, The Guardian picked up the same statement from her to endorse the SoA view that “the terms many publishers are demanding are no longer fair or sustainable.” And this time The Guardian, hitherto a more than somewhat anti-Amazon publication, only mentioned Amazon briefly and in positive terms, in the context of self-publishing.
The Guardian mostly covers the same ground that Solomon already went over in her Q&A with TeleRead, and the arguments also covered here, but it does touch more on the topic of self-publishing, and how well this can renumerate authors. It quotes author Mark Edwards, who after a brief flirtation with HarperCollins, “returned to self-publishing, which rescued my writing career.”
Some may say I’m being too obsessive in constantly bringing Amazon into this debate. I don’t think so. I don’t believe the whole discussion around the ALCS report would have got half as much airing but for the ongoing Hachette/Amazon dispute pushing it to the fore. And especially since Hachette tried to make the issue of lost earnings for its authors a major point against Amazon. Now we have close public scrutiny of the actual earnings that Hachette and its ilk deliver to their authors, and the picture doesn’t look pretty. Own goal, Big Five.