Sunday, February 9, 2014

Why Don't Authors Get Residuals?

A few of us volunteer at the local library bookstores, where you can find great books dirt cheap. The store in the Newport Beach Central Library is the best because it is so convenient to donate there-it's right inside the door, and the nice volunteers will take a cart out to your car to get your donations.

One of our members is adamantly opposed to buying used books because the author receives no money from the sale. She doesn't think that'sright, and if she ran a used bookstore she would send every author a percent whenever one of his/her books sold, even though it would be expensive. If she couldn't find an author easily she would put the money in a savings account for a couple of years in case the author appeared.

Most of us think this is totally impractical, though we support her desire to support writers. But it did raise the whole subject of earnings after the initial sale.

Musicians and songwriters often get paid when their works are played on the radio, TV or movies. Some people working in Tv or film get residuals. Sometimes people who've written magazine or newspaper articles grt paid when it's reprinted.

But book authors only get paid on initial sales. Should they get a cut of retail sales? How could they, given the market is so decentralized. Authors do get paid for digital sales, however.

If an eBook is as cheap as a used copy, we think you should buy the digital version so the author gets paid. What do you think?

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