Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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ASA: Royalties declined for more than a third of authors in 2020

The Australian Society of Authors (ASA) has found that more than half (52%) of respondents to its author survey received no advance for their work, while of those who did, 65% received an advance under $2000, up from 28% in 2017.

The ASA found 14.6% of respondents received an advance of $10,000 or more. However, 46.5% of all respondents did not earn out their advance, ‘highlighting the high-risk nature of publishing and also the double-edged sword of advances, given that if you don’t earn out your advance, you are often unlikely to attract a subsequent publishing offer’.

The ASA also found that 38.6% of respondents experienced a decline in royalties from 2019, with 43.3% reporting their royalties stayed the same, and 18.1% reporting an increase.

‘Some authors have reported strong backlist sales, while others are despairing about the quiet demise of a book launched in a year where promotional opportunities were extremely limited,’ said the ASA in a statement. ‘Unsurprisingly, royalties have held up better than income from events, which has been seriously impacted by COVID.’

The ASA has previously reported findings from the survey that show more than half of full time writers earn below $15,000 per year.

For more information see the ASA website.


Category: Local news