- What is the Society of Authors and why was it created?
The Society of Authors is a trade union that was founded in 1884 in England with the purpose to protect the rights and further the interests of authors. It has come a long way since then and now has branched out to include authors, translators, illustrators, poets and much more.
- What does it do?
The Society of Authors helps budding as well as established authors in protecting their rights and getting them a better deal with their contracts with various publishers. This includes that they veto your contract and give it a look over with a legal eye so that the author does not lose out on anything due to a technicality. They advise their members about the whole process of writing as well as the business aspects of it. They represent authors in various negotiations and lobby on various issues that directly affect authors. They also administer many grants, awards and prizes on a yearly basis that grants monetary awards that recognize the efforts of many authors as well as to help out struggling writers. They also act as literary representatives for a number of writers’ estates which includes people like Virginia Woolf, George Bernard Shaw and more.
- What are the eligibility criteria for joining the society of Authors?
To become a member, you must review their requirements on their website – http://www.societyofauthors.org . It’s a very basic requirement – you have to have been offered a contract from a publisher or agent before applying. This is because it is created to help authors get better deals and to help them with their works in progress. Although they do have workshops that are aimed at the budding writer, they do not promote or market unknown or known writers. Their role lies in the advisory state and also to help when need of assistance. There is also a yearly fee that is charged. A yearly subscription comes at £102 and if you are under the age of 35, you have to pay only £73.
- How many members does the Society of Authors have?
The Society of Authors has over 9,500 members and it is steadily growing.
- What are the concerns of the Society of Authors?
The growing struggles of the writer are a concern for the society. This is because the writers are not getting their fair share of all dues which includes royalties. Being the creators of the content, they should get at least 50%, but that is not the case. In reality, many of the authors get only 25% or even less. The problems faced by eBook writers are also a growing concern as the competitive market and online piracy undermine the efforts and hard work of the authors. The tough and tight margins are also causing a downward spiral. There is a lot to be done to protect the interests of the authors and the Society is doing all they can for them.