Saturday, June 30, 2018

some links for the weekend

Facebook's retreat from the news has harmed the advertising revenue and traffic of news outlets that relied on Facebook traffic for readership, like ... Slate.

it is reported that it's really lame to be an Amazon Flex worker over at The Atlantic

Phillip Pullman and others lament how badly writers get paid by publishers

Philip Pullman, Antony Beevor and Sally Gardner are calling on publishers to increase payments to authors, after a survey of more than 5,500 professional writers revealed a dramatic fall in the number able to make a living from their work.
The latest report by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS), due to be published on Thursday, shows median earnings for professional writers have plummeted by 42% since 2005 to under £10,500 a year, well below the minimum annual income of £17,900 recommended by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Women fare worse, according to the survey, earning 75% of what their male counterparts do, a 3% drop since 2013 when the last ALCS survey was conducted.

Based on a standard 35-hour week, the average full-time writer earns only £5.73 per hour, £2 less than the UK minimum wage for those over 25. As a result, the number of professional writers whose income comes solely from writing has plummeted to just 13%, down from 40% in 2005.

The median income of the writers surveyed – including part-time and occasional authors – has declined in real terms to £3,000 a year, down 33% since the last survey in 2013, and 49% since the first ALCS report in 2005. Professional writers are defined as those who dedicate more than half their working hours to writing.

Pullman, Beevor and Gardner claim the crash in number of professional writers is threatening the diversity and quality of literary culture in the UK. They lay the blame at the door of publishers and online booksellers, which over the same period have failed to share a greater slice of their rocketing profits. In 2016, UK publishers’ sales of books and journals rose 7% to £4.8bn, a trend repeated in 2017 as UK books sales alone passed the £2bn mark. Since 2005, Amazon’s global turnover has risen from $8.49bn (£6.4bn) to $177.87bn.

“The word exploitation comes to mind,” said Pullman, bestselling author of the His Dark Materials series and president of the Society of Authors. “Many of us are being treated badly because some of those who bring our books to the public are acting without conscience and with no thought for the future of the ecology of the trade as a whole ... This matters because the intellectual, emotional and artistic health of the nation matters, and those who write contribute to the task of sustaining it.”

The 2018 ALCS survey covers writers from fields including stage and screen, but authors appear to fare worse than their counterparts in the creative arts. “If I had to rely on being a novelist, I would be skint,” said Jonathan Harvey, a novelist who supports his books with a day job as a playwright – his latest is the Dusty Springfield musical called Dusty – and as head scriptwriter for Coronation Street.

“It wasn’t until my 11th book that I started to get royalties,” he said. “How many people can afford to go that long without money from another source?” In contrast, he continues to earn 8%-10% of box office receipts from new productions of his debut play, Beautiful Thing, which opened in 1993.

“Authors are not a special case, deserving of more sympathy than many other groups,” said Pullman. “We are a particular case of a general degradation of the quality of life, and we are not going to stop pointing it out, because we speak for many other groups as well.”

Driscoll, now officially a charismatic without a seatbelt, was at Charisma2018

We still don't know what "a trap has been set" might actually mean. There are theories, of course, but those are theories by adversarial parties.  Driscoll himself has never explained what "a trap has been set" could possibly mean, which remains all the more mysterious seeing as he recounted how it was his idea to suggest the BoAA take up an investigation and that he submit to the proposed disciplinary plan.  No one who would at one point have been on the BoAA has addressed that, not Larry Osborne, not Sutton Turner either that I'm aware of. 

No comments: