What Writers Earn

Bankers and hedge fund managers (who do nothing that can be understood) gather in more money than can be imagined, yet the work of authors (who give delight, or knowledge, or consolation) is rewarded on average with little more than 40% of the national median earnings: that’s £11,000. While Amazon makes earnings of indescribable magnitude by selling our books for a fraction of their value, and then pays as little tax as possible, the authors whose work subsidises this gargantuan barbarity are facing threats to their livelihoods from several directions: from publishers’ increasing habit of letting backlists disappear while concentrating largely on proven bestsellers, as well as from the government’s obvious disinclination to do anything to help keep the library sector alive.

Philip Pullman: Guardian Review


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