SoA and WGGB launch investigation into contribution publisher practices


03 March 2021
Authors who have worked with or been approached by publishers asking fees for services are invited to take part

Following increases in the numbers of authors complaining about the practices of publishers that make charges to authors, Society of Authors and Writers’ Guild of Great Britain have joined forces to launch an investigation into the financial and contractual impact on authors of contribution publishers. The survey is running until 25 April, and authors who have worked with or been approached by publishers who make charges are invited to take part and give their evidence. The survey will form the basis of a forthcoming report. 

Both unions have experienced a rise in authors complaining about aggressive marketing tactics, emotionally manipulative sales approaches, opaque contracts and processes and services that fell short of expectations from companies describing themselves as ‘hybrid’, ‘contributory’, ‘subsidy’ or ‘partnership’ publishers. Charges for these services are often four our five figures.

‘We have been concerned about the practices of certain publishers for a long time,’ said SoA chief executive Nicola Solomon. ‘But in recent years, with huge marketing budgets and opportunities for targeted online advertising, they have become ubiquitous. Today, they are often the publishing opportunities that authors see first when they look for a home for their work. They call themselves publishers, but in truth they are service providers – and what we are hearing is that the services they provide do not live up to the four figure fees they charge. Given their prominence, we need to get an accurate picture of this growing area of book production, so we can better protect the authors who use it. We are very pleased to be working alongside the WGGB on this essential project.’

To take part in the survey, click this link.


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