The Society of Authors was created with the purpose to help out writers. This need has gained more importance, especially with the new digital age which has seen the introduction of e-books. With publishing houses gaining more power and the writers themselves getting the raw end of many deals, the Society of Authors helps writers in getting a fair deal. Here is what they do:
- There are many issues that are dear to many writers’ hearts. Be it from the pricing of their books to copyright issues. With the activity of reading books becoming a slowly decreasing trend, e-books are becoming the next new thing and this leads to more issues that need to be tackled. Also, apart from sales, authors get certain benefits from sales as well as library loans. These points are all addressed by the SoA.
- They have specialist groups that know how to deal and negotiate with the publishing houses as well as translating services who address the concerns of the authors they represent.
- They have support groups which is available both online and in real life.
- It is not so easy going through a contract, especially if you’re signing up with a big player. The SoA goes through your contracts and this service is thorough, confidential and absolutely free.
- There are many guides that are published which cover a variety of topics like speaking engagements, self-publishing (which is becoming more popular), contracts, VAT, libel, agents and more.
- There is a tax helpline that is available to their members for confidential advice.
- Members get exclusive rates on the tickets for many events that are organized by the Society. These include conferences, talks and more that keep writers abreast of all the latest updates in the world of writing and related areas of interest.
- Nobody is exempt from paying taxes, even if you’re a struggling writer. The Society of Authors offers special discounts to its members on specialist insurance which allows them to make significant savings including Professional Indemnity, Tax Inspection and Public Liability.
- Writers love books, it’s safe to say and they too go through a lot of books in the name of research or just as a passion. By being part of the SoA, they save money on journal and magazine subscriptions as well as books.
- By being part of the Society of Authors, you also get free membership into the ALCS (Authors Licensing and Collecting Authority, a guaranteed British Library Card and also discounts for many other organizations that the SoA is in conjunction with.
- They have a quarterly magazine known as the Author that keeps their members and readers up to date on many developments. This also serves as a form of regular communication with the Society and its members.
The Society of Authors does not discriminate on what type of a writer you are. For them, the term author encompasses the following terms: Academic Writer, Biographer, Broadcast Writer, Children’s Writer, Crime writer, Dramatist, Educational Writer, Elt Writer, Health Writer, Historian, Illustrator, Ghostwriter, Graphic Novelist, Journalist, Medical Writer, Memoirist, Nature Writer, Non-fiction Writer, Novelist, Performance Poet, Playwright, Poet, Radio Writer, Reporter, Reviewer, Science Writer, Scriptwriter, Short Story Writer, Spoken Word Artists, Textbook Writer, Translator, TV Writer, YA Author.
As you can see the word author deals with a vast array of subjects and fields. As the world progresses, the Society of Authors has come to include the growing community of writers into its fold. When you think about it, the Society was created over 130 years ago and this was when there were probably only half of the above types of authors existing at the time.
The Society of Authors is for everyone – newbies who are just starting out or writers who have been established in the field for a while. If you have received a contract from a publisher, then you can join the Society and start receiving their benefits immediately.