A new chapter for Australian Writers

Unsplash-Hannah-Grace-bookThe Australian Government is delivering on its promise to support Australian authors and publishers by expanding Australia’s Lending Rights Schemes.

As part of Revive, Australia’s new National Cultural Policy, we are delivering $12.9 million to ensure authors and publishers are fairly compensated for their work.

Currently, the scheme only provides compensation payments for the free use of print copy books in public and educational lending libraries. From next year the payments will also apply to e-books and audiobooks.

Minister for the Arts, Tony Burke, said the measure will ensure authors and publishers receive the funding they deserve in return for free use of their works.

“This is a new chapter for Australian writers,” said Minister Burke. “The arts should never be limited to those who can afford to do it.

“In our increasingly digital world, it’s only right that authors and publishers are compensated for e-books and audiobooks as well as their print works.”

“The modernisation of this scheme is a big step forward for the authors and publishers who enrich our lives and tell our stories,” said Minister Burke.

The scheme, introduced by the Whitlam Government, has assisted thousands of Australians to write and publish books.

The average annual income for an Australian author is only $18,200, meaning many authors and publishers rely on second jobs or their family to make ends meet.

This change delivers more than 17,000 individual payments to authors and publishers – ensuring the ongoing vibrancy of Australian publishing.

Applications for next year’s round of payments, including for e-books and audiobooks, are open until 30 June 2023. To find out more about the Australian Lending Right Schemes, visit: www.arts.gov.au for details.

Image: An open book – photo by Hannah Grace