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You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone

A column in the SMH today by Jane Sullivan, explores the decline in the earnings of authors, both here and in the US.

In 2015, the average income derived from practising as an author in Australia was $12,900 and may be also declining, especially for literary fiction writers.

In the US full time authors only earned a median income of US$20,300. The concern is that if the nation’s authors are impoverished, then so are the readers. There may be less to read, fewer stories and more reliance on free online content as well as acceptance of the dominance of Amazon and others.

Jane Sullivan says ‘I hope readers around the world will take heed and think seriously about what they want and what they are prepared to pay for, or in the words of Joni Mitchell, they may ultimately realise what a loss they have unknowingly witnessed.

Buy books! Borrow books! Keep an author from the poverty line.