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UK trade launches emergency funds for authors, bookshops

In the UK, the Society of Authors (SoA) has launched an Authors Emergency Fund, while the Bookseller’s Association (BA) will donate £30,000 (A$60,520) to the Book Trade Charity to support those in the book industry facing financial hardship during the Covid-19 outbreak, reports the Bookseller.

The Authors Emergency Fund, worth £330,000 (A$664,370), has been established by the SoA in conjunction with the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society, English PEN with the T S Eliot Foundation, the Royal Literary Fund, and Amazon UK. The fund will be distributed as ‘small grants’, with SoA CEO Nicola Solomon saying the organisation is hoping to turn around applications ‘within weeks’.

SoA president Philip Pullman said: ‘The work of a modern author consists not only of sitting at a desk thoughtfully putting words on paper, but also of speaking, lecturing, visiting schools, teaching courses and other activities that involve meeting groups of people, and these are the very things that the Covid-19 pandemic is making impossible. With the cancelled event or visit there also disappears, of course, the author’s fee. This is the situation that many of us now face, and which the Authors’ Emergency Fund will do a great deal to mitigate.’

For booksellers, the BA is currently lobbying the trade and government to improve the financial and cashflow situation for physical bookshops, while the BA Group Board will waive all 2020 subscription fees for independent members, and National Book Tokens will improve payment terms.


Category: International news