Oct 22, 2018
By Michael Kramer
Canadian writers are earning 27 per cent less – than they were three years ago.
That’s according to a survey from the Writers’ Union of Canada – which says average incomes plunged to $9,380 in 2017 – from $12,879 – back in 2014.
The survey “Diminishing Returns; Creative Culture at Risk,” was conducted in spring 2018 – and asked union members and other writers – to share details of their 2017 income.
Publishing royalties were the main source of income at 45 per cent – while corporate and government writing and freelance work provided 32 per cent combined.
Self-publishing income grew to eight per cent – but the study says income from “Access Copyright” – the agency which distributes copyright royalties to authors and publishers – dropped by an average of 42 per cent.
It’s unclear how much “Access Copyright” royalties contributed to the writers’ income – but a graph that accompanied the survey suggested it was less than 10 per cent.
The data comes as the federal government reviews the entire Copyright Act – amid a legal battle in which several ministries of education and Ontario school boards claim they overpaid copyright fees.