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Self-Publishing News: Publishing Is Worth £11bn To The UK Economy: But How Much Comes From Indie Authors?

Self-Publishing News: Publishing is Worth £11bn to the UK Economy: But How Much Comes From Indie Authors?

ALLi News Editor, Dan Holloway

We all love figures. Indeed, one of the exciting things about being an indie author is seeing the inflow or our own real time data. But one of the frustrating things about it is knowing those figures probably won’t make it into too many aggregated datasets about the industry of which we are a vital part.

Last week saw a new report come out that was full of figures. The UK’s Publishers’ Association had commissioned a report into the size and impact of the publishing industry. Titled Vision for Publishing, it claims an annual impact of £11bn on the UK economy, supporting 84,000 jobs, with the scope to increase both those figures by around 50% in the next decade.

Can you see where I might be going with this?

The report is very glossy. And full of interesting and impactful case studies aimed at showing the industry’s contribution to the UK economy. No doubt with half an eye on the coming AI regulation Bill, there is considerable mention of innovative AI tools that the industry has pioneered, primarily in the academic publishing sphere.

I found the section on methodology really interesting. It mentions self-employment being considered when looking at the figures. But in the absence of any explicit mention of self-publishing, it is unclear whether that actually means us/includes or not. The following statement doesn’t make it sound as though the full range of author contributions to the publishing ecosystem (often AS publishers) has been grasped.

“the indirect impact on the economy that publishing activity has through upstream supply chains was investigated. This is based on the costs, or inputs, of the publishing sector such as printing or payments to the authors themselves which in turn act as revenue to those industries which they use to add more value to the economy.”

I contacted the Publishers’ Association for clarification.

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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


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