APPGW launches inquiry on authors’ earnings

15 June 2018

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Writers (APPWG) has launched an inquiry into authors’ earnings. The inquiry will seek to understand how authors’ earnings have changed over time and how they are affected by the current legislative landscape and developments in the industry.

The APPWG is a cross-party group of MPs, and is chaired by the former Culture Secretary John Whittingdale. The inquiry will take place on the back of ALCS’ author income survey, the results of which are expected to be released at the end of June. The previous ALCS survey took place in 2013, and showed a steep decline in author earnings and the number of authors making a living from their writing.

The Society of Authors will be submitting evidence to the inquiry, but we would encourage individual authors to do so as well.

Over the course of the inquiry the group is seeking to:

  • Further develop our understanding of how authors’ earnings have changed over time  
  • Create an understanding of the market pressures and relationship that affect authors’ earnings especially in today’s digital and global economy
  • Understand the impact of the current legislative landscape on writers
  • Review the opportunities to improve the position of authors through legislation and regulation 

The group invites written evidence on the following areas:

  • Professional challenges specific to authors such as regularity of earnings, varied sources of income, how these have changed and their impact on both the day-to-day livelihood and career of authors.
  • The position of writers within the creative industries, the market pressures on them and how they have been affected by the development of creative industries in the UK. 
  • The Impact of Brexit on writers and copyright, how past and developing EU law and regulations have affected authors’ earnings and how this might change. 

Each submission should:

  • be no more than 3,000 words in length
  • be in Word format with as little use of colour or logos as possible
  • have numbered paragraphs

Written evidence should be submitted to with the title “APPWG Earnings Inquiry”. The deadline for written evidence is 5pm on Thursday 2 August 2018.

Nicola Solomon, Chief Executive of the Society of Authors, said:

“I strongly welcome this inquiry, which will provide an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the root causes of low author earnings and – even more importantly – bring these to the attention of politicians and government.

“The Society of Authors will of course be submitting evidence, but I would encourage our members to write in as well. The more extensive the evidence, the greater the chances of producing an authoritative report which makes strong recommendations for government and industry on how author earnings can be improved.”