New look for SoA's journal The Author, now printed on 100% recycled paper

20 March 2020

A new, full-colour look for The Author – the Society of Authors’ quarterly print journal – now printed on 100% recycled paper using 100% renewable energy.

The world looked a lot different a month ago, when the Spring 2020 issue of The Author went to print. Since the beginning of the year, we have been working to bring a new design of the journal into being – ensuring The Author remains a key part of SoA communications with members and the outside world, while introducing more sustainable working practices.

To coincide with the changes, we themed the new edition of The Author on climate change, particularly the impact on UK publishing and how authors are doing their bit to make a change. Though the key messages remain relevant, we realise that all our lives are changing amidst the outbreak of COVID-19 – and we could not predict the impact it would have on the world.

To that end, please note that some news is out of date – including our upcoming events, which have now been cancelled. (We are working on bringing you a new programme of online events in the coming days and weeks.) The good news from the Budget 2020 is that VAT on ebooks has now been scrapped, and of course, much of our professional advice remains timeless – including an article from Joshua Yuvaraj and Rebecca Giblin on UK reversion rights.

The Author will look different, but its core focus – representing issues of the day and the voices of many individual members and industry professionals – will remain the same. The journal will continue to be a fantastic wealth of experience, sentiment and information, with a few new aims:

  • Greater presence online – We will ensure that more content from the journal is made available online, both on our website and across our communications.
  • Strong representation – Every edition will have something for everyone, so authors of all types and backgrounds can find a topic or contributor they can relate to.
  • Enhanced visual appeal – We will work with one lead illustrator for each edition, with a more visually appealing new design to make the journal clearer and more accessible.
  • Greener and more sustainable – With new sustainable printers, Wells Printing, each edition of The Author will be printed on 100% recycled paper using 100% renewable energy, and will be delivered to members in compostable mailing wrap (pop it in your food waste, not your bin!).

James McConnachie remains Editor of The Author, alongside members of the Communications team Carlotta Eden and Martin Reed, taking over from long-standing Manager Kate Pool.


In his editorial for the Spring 2020 issue, James McConnachie writes:

‘This is not just about aesthetics; there are reasons for the changes. One motivation is that we want to ensure that The Author is a key part of the SoA’s communications with its members and the outside world – and this redesign will allow us to be more present online. We also want to do more to celebrate the work of illustrators, and this new, full-colour design will enable us to do so.

'The changes are also prompted by reconsidering how sustainable we are. This Spring issue focuses on climate change: we report on how publishers are greening up their act and what authors are doing to contribute – including Liz Jensen’s account of how she took part in Extinction Rebellion. But we also have our own part to play – and The Author, accordingly, is now printed on 100% recycled paper using 100% recycled energy.


Tell us what you think

We’re excited about these changes, but we want to hear from you. What do you want from The Author? We’ll work closely with authors over the next few months to ensure that we’re continuing to deliver high quality articles on a diverse range of topics from all types of authors, so if you have any feedback for us, please email your thoughts

And if you love your new The Author, snap a picture with your copy! Tag us on Twitter (@soc_of_authors) or Instagram (@society_of_authors) and we’ll share our favourite photos.

During these uncertain times, we hope you find something to make you smile in the Spring 2020 edition. Happy reading.


Cover illustration: Henny Beaumont