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AuthorSHARE – 2nd hand book royalties for authors

By Chris Dawson June 1, 2021 - 10:46 am

For the first ever time, authors will start to receive royalties on 2nd hand book sales thanks to a new AuthorSHARE scheme set up by two of the biggest marketplace book sellers.

Up until now, when a book is sold the author received a royalty. They also received a royalty when books were borrowed from a library, recognising that the value is in the words, not the physical paper that the book is printed on. Now, the AuthorSHARE scheme pays authors royalties on the sale of used books purchased at worldofbooks.com and bookbarninternational.com. It is made possible thanks to an agreement between the two retailers and the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society.

In recent years there have been increasing calls from within the writing community for a new approach to address the exponential growth of the used book market. The market for used books is growing at 12% annually – compared to 1% for that of new books – and is estimated to be worth £563 million in the UK by 2025.

“It is great to see that they will now receive a small share whenever their book is sold from the websites of Bookbarn, World of Books and other participating retailers. As well as the welcome financial boost, authors love to know that their books are still being read and enjoyed long after the first sale.”
– Nicola Solomon, CEO, The Society of Authors

The scheme was the brainchild of William Pryor, founder of Somerset based retailer Bookbarn International. He was inspired by the Artists’ Resale Right which grants artists or their estate permission to receive a fee on the resale of their artworks.

Subsequently, online retailer World of Books created a royalty fund worth £200,000 for the scheme’s first year. Because the scheme is linked to a fund dedicated to support it, the most any author can currently receive from the scheme is capped at £1,000 a year. It is expected this will increase in subsequent years as the contribution is linked to the business performance and profit of World of Books. It is also hoped other retailers will also get involved.

“As a writer as well as founder of Bookbarn, I was puzzled that authors, the very people who create the raw material of our business, were not benefitting. In 2015 this gave me the idea that has, thanks to World of Books bringing their scale of operations to the scheme, now become AuthorSHARE. This is all about giving authors recognition for the value they create and we hope other retailers within this space will eventually join us in this innovative voluntary initiative”
– William Pryor, founder, Bookbarn International

At present, royalties on used books can only be paid on purchases made directly from the World of Books and Bookbarn International websites, but both retailers hope others within the industry will join the scheme to enable more authors to benefit.

Only writers who are members of the ALCS will receive payment from the Author Share scheme. Members must have also registered their individual works with the ALCS in order to receive payment for those titles.

“The growth of the used book market is fantastic in so many ways; it offers affordable literacy and protects the planet by enabling more goods to be reused. But until now, authors have missed out on the benefits of the movement towards a more circular-model of book consumption. The AuthorSHARE scheme addresses this, giving authors the potential to be paid at every point in its lifecycle.”
– Graham Bell, CEO, World of Books Group

If you are a retailer interested in joining the scheme, contact marketing@worldofbooks.com or william@bookbarninternational.com for more information.

  • 3 weeks ago

    It is plainly time that Shakespeare got some royalties. He hasn’t been paid for some time.perhaps Handel and Chopin are also in line for some cash if music is included
    In music copyright ceases after death plus 75 years. Seems odd but years ago Garth Brooks and a group of singers tried to force the US government “tax” the sale of second hand CDs
    Not only politicians, not only eBay execs, not only couriers but now another group of people are trying to take the income from us as sellers.
    Nice gesture but not a workable one for small sellers I am sure

  • Victor
    3 weeks ago

    If these large retailers did not devalue books by selling at such insanely low prices
    Author s might be able to be paid more in the first place

  • Alan Paterson
    3 weeks ago

    It is typical of you Victor to turn this into a negative.

    but then you do that with every single topic posted on here. I feel sorry for you and your outlook on life. It must be hard when everything is bad, and selling on a platform you despise.

    Ever thought of a job instead?

  • Victor
    3 weeks ago

    NURSE ! NURSE !
    Hes out of bed and ranting again

  • Alan Paterson
    3 weeks ago

    Your the one that needs the nurse Victor. A Psychiatric Nurse!

    When folk mention “troll” or “bully” or “spoiler” you are the person I immediately think of.

    I rarely read Tamebay now because of your trolling but I see that things havent changed.

  • Victor
    3 weeks ago

    Alan you will find most if not all of my posts are relative to the subject. any that are not will be in response to your uninvited insults
    So to exercise your superiority complex
    We will now longer post here .you can then concentrate on other victims

  • Rob
    3 weeks ago

    @Victor – people want to come on sites like this to learn something or share ideas about how to grow and develop their business and not just hear negatives from people like yourself all the time where everything seems wrong with everything.

  • Jonty
    3 weeks ago

    @Rob, with respect sometimes it seems like we only have the negatives to talk about,,,….. very few “improvements” are actually improvements- most seem to be money grabs and the like.
    Personally I couldn’t care about second sale royalties, what next – car makers wanting a share of the sale of a second hand car ?
    Where does it stop ? 🤣

  • Rob
    3 weeks ago

    @Jonty, think the point Alan was trying to make about Victor is that every post he comments on here is negative.
    Yes at times things are great on places like ebay and Amazon or with certain postal carriers. Come on here and share some positives, help each other.
    Like most businesses they are there to make money. If something is not working then evaluate and if needed change.
    I’ve gone from running a store on ebay about 6 year ago. They became very negative towards sellers at one point even if a buyer messaged post sale it was a negative. Moved some stock over to Amazon, grew my business there some.
    Continued to sell on ebay and Amazon, but also growing my own website now which for some products I get more sales than ebay.
    Add them all together and it has allowed me to grow from running the business part time from home, to running it full time and recently moving to a business unit.
    It can’t be all that bad, you just have to learn to protect yourself on ebay especially and spot the bad buyers before they buy something and block them before they cause problems.

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