From The Guardian:
French writers have never felt more badly paid, undervalued or under pressure, according to a new survey that shows more than half of established authors earn less than the minimum wage.
Many are so depressed by the state of the book industry that they are considering giving up altogether, according to a new report that canvassed more than 100,000 authors of fiction and non-fiction.
“Authors have a high social status but almost empty bank accounts,” said Marie Sellier, president of the SDGL, one of the five writers’ and publishing groups behind the study.
. . . .
Established writers with years of relative success behind them struggled to make a living, with their median annual earnings of €17,600 ($19,800), less than three-quarters of national average.
The most staggering statistic of all in the report, which was backed by the ministry of culture, is that six out of 10 published writers make less than €1,500 a year.
. . . .
The survey of writers as well as poets, illustrators and translators found they were they “generally worried, disenchanted and discouraged”.
“Many were asking themselves whether they should diversify into other work or stop altogether,” it concluded.
Link to the rest at The Guardian and thanks to Dave for the tip.
PG was reminded that France is the home of the Lang Law (named after a long-departed Minister of Culture). In a nutshell, under the Lang Law:
- The publisher decides on a price for its book and prints it on the back
- Booksellers are not allowed to sell a book for a discount of more than 5% below the publisher’s price.
Sounds like this law may be fine for publishers and bookstores, but not so much for authors.