aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

One Japanese chain to start paying royalties on used books

Did you know that when you buy a used book from a bookstore, the author gets no royalties? Some authors are sure that the growing availability of used books online through Amazon and Half.com is screwing them out of getting a paperback deal, because their hardcover sales drop as people just buy used. [Full disclosure: maybe, but I’m not going to lie awake worrying about it.]

A Japanese paper reports, “In response to complaints from authors, Bookoff Corp., a large chain of secondhand bookshops based here, has offered to pay 100 million yen to groups representing copyright holders, sources said. Bookoff resells secondhand books in like-new condition. Authors have complained the sales cut into their new book sales and undercut their royalty income. The chain extended its offer to the Japan Writer's Association, the Copyright Network for Comic Authors in the 21st Century and other groups, the sources said.”

Publishers Lunch says that the chain will pay authors, but it sounds to me like they are paying groups – will the money really go to authors? (There is money that goes to writers’ groups for illegally published copies in other countries, and it’s just used for the groups' joint benefit, not portioned out to authors.) And what about me? I’ve had three or four novels published there, but I’m not a member of Japan Writer’s Association.

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