Industry & Advocacy News
February 19, 2020
York (February 19, 2020): The Authors Guild, the nation’s largest and oldest
nonprofit professional association for published writers and journalists, today
issued a report, “The Profession of Author in the 21st Century,” detailing
the underlying social, economic and technological factors contributing to the ongoing
decline of author incomes.
“For much of literary history, only the
most privileged—those with wealth and leisure and education—could hope to
publish. The 20th century created laws and practices, however, that
allowed many [American] writers to earn a living, and as a result, an explosion
of important books were published—by women, by authors of color, and others
once shut out of authorship by financial need,” states Christine Larson, Ph.D.,
author of the report and an assistant professor of journalism at the University
of Colorado, who studies the impact of technology on media workers and culture
industries. “But the days of authors supporting themselves from writing may be
coming to an end. The changing
economy of publishing today means that reliable income and time—the
metaphorical room for writing—are increasingly out of reach for many authors.”
compile her research, Larson conducted interviews with book authors, publishing
executives and industry analysts. She also drew heavily on the data from the
most recent Authors Guild’s
Authors Income Survey.
Below are four meaningful takeaways from the commissioned report:
asserts that authors’ incomes in the U.S. will continue to sink even further
unless lawmakers, publishers, content distributors, authors, literary advocates
and the American public step in to stop the decline.
frustration and sorrow are three of the most common emotions expressed by
authors cited in the report said noted novelist Doug Preston, president of the
Authors Guild. “Reading it also reinforced the importance of the Authors Guild
in helping to prevent the total sidelining of professional writers in the new
literary and information landscape and protecting their ability to earn a
living in this brave new world.”
To download a copy of “The Profession of Author in the 21st Century,” see below.
About the Authors GuildThe Authors Guild is the nation’s oldest and largest professional organization for writers. Its mission is to empower working writers by advocating for the rights of authors and journalists. The Guild protects free speech and authors’ copyrights, fights for fair contracts and a living wage and provides an engaged and welcoming community for all published authors. For more, visit www.authorsguild.org.