AuthorSHARE scheme: How much was paid out for the sale of used books

As part of the March distribution, ALCS members received royalties for the purchase of second-hand books through Wob and Bookbarn International. This money was paid thanks to the pioneering AuthorSHARE scheme.

The second ever AuthorSHARE payment was included in the March distribution. It saw 36,439 ALCS members receive a share of £77,953.64. The new scheme, supported by ALCS and the Society of Authors, sees writers paid a share of the royalties from sales of books resold through used book retailers Wob, previously World of Books, and Bookbarn International.

The highest-earning subject of second-hand books sold and royalties duly paid was fiction, with £23,735 paid out in this category, followed by children’s, teenage and educational writing, which earned nearly £15,000 in used book sales. Lifestyle, sport and leisure was the third top earner at just over £13,000.

The second ever AuthorSHARE payment was included in the March distribution. It saw 36,439 ALCS members receive a share of £77,953.64

The ground-breaking scheme is designed to create a better deal for authors in the used book market, a market growing at 12% annually, compared to 1% for new books.

Authors of all types of writing – from fiction and children’s, teenage and educational to medicine, law and English language teaching (ELT) – earned their share of used book sales. One of the scheme’s key goals is not simply to continue paying authors for the use of their work, but to help provide books with a long life. That means reselling them. Authors received payments for books published all the way back to 1970.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig was the highest-earning piece of fiction of this AuthorSHARE payment. Sally Rooney’s Normal People followed. Bernadine Evaristo’s joint winner of the Man Booker Prize in 2019, Girl, Woman, Other, was no. 3, while Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale was no. 4. Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist was fifth.

Chefs also received credit for the second-hand sales of their cookbooks. The top earning celebrity-penned cookbooks were Jamie Oliver’s 5 Ingredients – Quick & Easy Food followed by Ottolenghi FLAVOUR and River Cottage Veg Every Day! By Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Find out how AuthorSHARE got started. Watch this webinar.

Make sure you get your share
It’s simple. Keep your list of book titles up to date in the members’ area, including different editions of your titles.

Help others get their share
Buy your books second-hand on Wob and Bookbarn International.