UK's Society of Authors have crunched the numbers, and they've reached a conclusion: traditional publishing is "no longer fair or sustainable."
Looking at the Numbers
The Society of Authors has about 9,000 members. New figures released recently showed a marked drop in median income for professional authors. They're now earning less than $20,000 annually, wages that aren't "fair or sustainable," according to the chief executive for the Society.
The statement comes on the heels of a survey released recently, in which 2,500 writers answered questions about their earnings. Author income is down about 29 percent since 2005 -- a number that is truly frightening. Now, only 11.5 percent of professional authors in England earn their main income from writing. In 2005, that number was 40 percent.
Meanwhile, publishers' profits are getting bigger. Isn't that funny. Now the Society is taking a stand, asking for "fair remuneration" for their work. Publisher production cost is down, but authors are still asked to do much of their own marketing and their profits are not getting any bigger.
The Society of Authors does allow self-published authors who have sold more than 300 copies of a print book or 500 copies of an ebook in calendar year.