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Self-publishing News: AuthorSHARE Offers Payments For Sales Of Secondhand Books

Self-publishing News: AuthorSHARE offers payments for sales of secondhand books

In this week's Self-Publishing News Special, ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway looks at AuthorSHARE, a scheme that pays authors for sales of their secondhand books.

Dan Holloway head and shoulders

ALLi's News Editor Dan Holloway

In this month’s self-publishing news podcast, Howard and I look in depth at what the partnership between Spotify and Storytel means for the future of reading and writing, and examine new platforms that allow authors to engage with readers more closely. On tonight’s #indieauthorchat with Tim Lewis, at 8pm GMT, we’ll be talking with Dale Roberts about getting book reviews.

AuthorSHARE Offers Royalties on Sales of Second Hand Books

It’s one of the things no one really talks about. But it’s always there under the surface, bubbling away and creating inconsistencies and hypocrisies in people’s lines of reasoning, resentments between authors and readers, antagonisms to booksellers that can’t be shared in decent company. It is, of course, the fact that authors make no royalties on on the sales of second hand books. The advent of blockchain technology has modified that somewhat. It is now possible to write royalties for every subsequent sale into the smart contract with which a book is published. But when it comes to the books we love to find in second hand book stores, the principle has remained.

Until now. AuthorSHARE is a new scheme in the UK set up by William Pryor of Bookbarn International in partnership with World of Books Group. In the first year a £200,000 fund will be administered by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS). This is the group that distributes royalties to authors from library lending. Sales figures from participating stores and groups will go to ALCS who will distribute up to £1000 to authors in two chunks each year. The scheme has the support of the Society of Authors and undistributed funds will go into SoA's contingency fund for authors. This seems like an excellent scheme, and I am happy to confirm, with thanks to ALLi's Margaret Skea, that the contingency fund is open to indie authors who have been affected by the pandemic.

Amazon Faces More Antitrust Lawsuits and Buys James Bond Studio

Amazon has had a busy week. The anti-trust lawsuits continue to stack up. This week, DC has joined the list of authorities taking action. Their case focuses on Amazon’s marketplace sellers. In particular, it asks whether Amazon’s dominance of the third party retail market is keeping prices inflated. This sits alongside existing cases asking whether Amazon’s dominance of book selling is bad for customers. One of Amazon's biggest third party seller in the book world is, of course, the aforementioned World of Books Group.

This week’s biggest Amazon news makes an interesting companion story. Amazon has just bought MGM for $8.45bn. It’s not clear whether that is part of a move to diversify. Or whether it marks an early step in a move to dominate another market. What it certainly does is offer the chance to boost the streaming part of the Amazon Prime offering. Prime is Amazon’s flagship money spinner for all kinds of reasons. But the most compelling is that Prime members buy more stuff from Amazon than non Prime members. So making Prime-led products as tempting as possible matters. And that includes both video and e-books. What’s always been slightly surprising is that Amazon hasn’t linked the two more, in the way Wattpad does so well. Maybe acquiring a studio will bring the page to screen pipeline one step closer.

Twitter Blue Launches

A couple of weeks ago I reported on new platforms for writers to engage more deeply with readers. And Howard and I talked about it in depth in this month’s podcast. We also talk about the use of subscription platforms for authors to generate revenue from shorter content than e-books. 

All of which sets the stage for one of the most – what’s the opposite of hotly anticipated? – events in a long time. Twitter Blue, with a $3 a month price tag, has appeared in the app store. The full details of what features we should expect are yet to be released. Though ALLi’s #indieauthorchat impresario Tim Lewis looks set to be delighted that it may offer an edit button.

New Store for Barnes & Noble

This is a fascinating piece on Barnes and Noble's new store in Kirkland (and a fascinating commentary from Passive Guy). The store opening marks a number of features that clearly demonstrate James Daunt's plans for the chain. First, there is the shift from part time to fewer but full time staff – on a new pay structure that looks more like a career ladder. Then there is the emphasis on local curation of books. This is the one that will most interest indie authors. For years we have struggled to figure out how to get our works into Waterstones, the UK chain now owned by Daunt., Too often “local stock management” meant, it seemed, anything but. And policies changed almost monthly so we never knew where we stood. It would be nice to think that on both sides of the pond we are entering a period of stability.

AuthorSHARE will pay royalties on second hand book sales and other top #selfpub news stories for #indieauthors, in one quick read, by #ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway @agnieszkasshoes #digitaleconomy #publishingopenup Share on X

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Over to You

Author: Dan Holloway

Dan Holloway is a novelist, poet and spoken word artist. He is the MC of the performance arts show The New Libertines, which has appeared at festivals and fringes from Manchester to Stoke Newington. In 2010 he was the winner of the 100th episode of the international spoken prose event Literary Death Match, and earlier this year he competed at the National Poetry Slam final at the Royal Albert Hall. His latest collection, The Transparency of Sutures, is available for Kindle at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Transparency-Sutures-Dan-Holloway-ebook/dp/B01A6YAA40


This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. The article on the introduction of royalties for the re-sale of books is such a good idea, especially for indi-published authors. . I wondered if this scheme would be available to me as a first time published author, whose books are out there in the wide world, & no doubt by now in re-sale outlets?
    I had just published as the Pandemic hit, leaving me with cancelled book-signings, & cancelled or postponed book fairs! Some International ones, thankfully have gone virtual, but i am still struggling to get my first-time royalties, as these things take months to process!..
    Fortunately I procured quite a few books from my publisher, to sell personally, but this has not been an easy time to sell independently, & I now find myself struggling & holding off publishing my sequel..
    I would be glad to sell the 40 new books I still hold @ a re-sale price, in order to finance my sequel..
    My book is junior fiction, 84 pages..colour
    Title: ‘The Secrets of Smugglers Light’..
    I would welcome some advice & nterest, thank you..

    1. Join the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) because as the article states, they will be the ones dealing with the resale royalties.

      The pandemic has been a great time for a lot of authors – specifically indie authors. Ebooks and audio always sell better than paperback /hardback, and this is one of the learning curves you need to understand as a first-time author. I can understand getting hold of a paperback edition of your book made you feel like a ‘real author’ but the reality is that it’s a mistake for a new, unknown author to invest in bulk buying their own book. (And it’s a tactic used by vanity publishers to lure new authors into spending a lot of money and artificially boosting sales)
      Trad publishers are falling behind independent publishers. The pandemic was bad for them because brick and mortar shops closed and they’d spent millions on print runs for new releases that just sat in warehouses all over the world. Whereas indie authors who use print on demand for paperbacks and hardbacks fared better because we don’t have the costs of warehousing or large print runs.

      Also, when it comes to the 40 books you now have, you should put them to good use to work for you. Use them to grow your audience. Find book blogs for the age group you write for, write blog posts for them, Use the books for giveaways, send them to review blogs, and sell signed copies.

  2. Well done to Bookbarn International – I buy a lot of secondhand books there (and donate a lot of books to them too). They are an innovative organisation doing great things – no secondhand book entrusted to them is ever destroyed, they just find other uses for any they can’t sell in the conventional sense to readers, eg selling books by the yard for set dressing in theatres, hotels, pubs, etc. Icing on the cake that they are now looking to give back into the author community too. Go, Bookbarn!

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