As we all know, unlike regular book sales or library borrowing, authors do not receive compensation from the sale of secondhand editions of their works. However there are plans, or proposals, to change this for the first time. This interesting news came to our attention from The Guardian in their article, “Authors to earn royalties on secondhand books for first time.”

William Pryor, founder of Somerset-based used bookseller Bookbarn International partnered with World of Books Group to create AuthorSHARE, a royalty fund. Authors will be paid each time one of their books is bought directly from the World of Books and Bookbarn International websites, with a pre-established cap.

This is being supported by The Society of Authors (SoA) and the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS). Participating retailers will share their sales information with the ALCS, which will match the works with their writer members and pay them their royalties as a lump sum twice a year.

In the world of academic publishing, this is a nice sign of change from archaic established practices.

Melody K. Smith

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