Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Hachette UK to introduce more transparent royalty statement

In the UK, Hachette has used its annual end-of-year letter to authors to announce a new more regular, clearer and detailed royalty system following consultation with agents, reports the Bookseller.

While no additional details about the royalty statements were given in the letter, the Bookseller reports that ‘the quality of detail in the statements will be better across the board, including on digital sales’. In the letter, CEO Tim Hely Hutchinson warned authors of the ‘tough’ time for the book trade, stating that the ‘well-publicised’ resurgence of print was ‘not the whole story’ as sales were skewed by adult colouring books. Hutchinson said the trade print market had fallen by 11.5% between 2011 and 2015, and by 27% for fiction.

Hutchinson also said the ebook market will have fallen by 22% at the end of the year from its peak in 2014, attributed to the UK VAT being imposed, changes in ebook trade terms and self-publishing. ‘This is probably a long-term trend, as more of consumers’ time and money is spent on the many new or recent digital platforms for information and entertainment,’ Hutchinson said.

The letter also touched on the Australian Productivity Commission’s copyright inquiry. ‘The Australian government of Malcolm Turnbull has mooted a number of attacks on copyright,’ said Hutchinson, adding that the proposals are ‘based on the crude premise that Australia is a net importer of copyrighted goods and therefore that weakening of copyright must be good for Australians’. ‘We don’t think it would be good for Australians or anyone else and we are working on and funding lobbying efforts to maintain strong copyright laws in Australia. Experience over many years indicates that such battles can be won.’

 

Category: International news

 

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