AuthorSHARE pays you royalties on used book sales - a fairer deal for authors as the used book market grows by an estimated 12% annually

How AuthorSHARE works

The AuthorSHARE scheme pays you royalties on the sale of used books purchased at worldofbooks.com and bookbarninternational.com. It is made possible thanks to an agreement between the two retailers and the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS).

To receive payments from the scheme, you must be a member of ALCS (free for all Society of Authors members) and have registered your works on their system. If your works are already registered with ALCS, you don’t need to do anything else.

World of Books Group have created an initial fund for the first year of £200,000. The most any author can currently receive from the scheme is capped at £1,000 per year.

Sign up and register your works

If you aren’t already a member of ALCS, you can join at alcs.co.uk.

Lifetime membership costs £36, but it is free for members of the Society of Authors, Writers’ Guild of Great Britain, National Union of Journalists, British Association of Journalists and Chartered Institute of Journalists.

The ALCS website includes a range of resources for members on how to register your works and how payments are made. You simply need to sign in and register your works via your member dashboard. 

AuthorSHARE re-use royalties are linked to your book’s ISBN, so remember to include different editions of the same book.

Payments are made twice yearly, in ALCS’s March and September payment runs.

 

Tell your followers and other authors

Share the graphics below to let your social media followers know you will receive a payment when used copies of your books are sold via worldofbooks.com or bookbarninternational.com.

And if you know a used book retailer who you think should join the scheme, send them a link to this page and put them in touch with World of Books Group at marketing@worldofbooks.com or William Pryor at Bookbarn International at william@bookbarninternational.com.

FAQs

The AuthorSHARE scheme pays authors royalties on the sale of used books purchased at worldofbooks.com and bookbarninternational.com.

Traditionally, authors have only received royalty payments on sales of new books. However, the used book market is growing exponentially at an estimated 12% each year, compared to 1% annual growth in the new book market. The AuthorSHARE scheme has been launched to give writers a fairer deal and address the need for change in how they are remunerated in response to the changing market landscape.

The Author Share scheme works thanks to an agreement between used book retailers (World of Books and Bookbarn International) and the Authors’ Licencing and Collecting Society (ALCS). The retailers share their sales information with ALCS who will match these with works by their members and make a payment directly to them.

Personal customer data is not shared.

The Author Share scheme was the brainchild of William Pryor in 2014, then called The Book Author Resale Right. William was inspired by the Artists’ Resale Right – also known as Droit de Suite – which grants artists or their estate to receive a fee on the resale of their artworks.

The scheme has been made a reality thanks to the involvement of World of Books Group, the UKs largest retailer of used books. The business finds a used book a new home somewhere in the world every two seconds and operates at a scale that makes the scheme possible.

Yes, through the Society of Authors the scheme has been developed directly with authors. The schemes governing group also includes author representation. It has been vitally important to ensure author voices have been consulted to help steer the direction of the scheme through its development.

Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) is a not-for-profit membership organisation started by writers for the benefit of writers. They are open to all types of writer, and owned by their members. They collect money due to members for secondary uses of their work. These might include activities like photocopying, cable retransmission, digital reproduction and educational recording.

The ALCS currently have over 112,000 members receiving payments for secondary uses of their work who could now benefit from the additional income the Author Share scheme provides.

Yes, only writers who are members of ALCS will receive payment from the Author Share scheme. Members must have also registered their individual works with ALCS in order to receive payment for those titles. This is because the sales information from World of Books and Bookbarn International needs to be matched to a specific books. Authors should also register all editions of their works as payments are made based on item ISBN numbers.

If you’ve ever written anything that’s been published or broadcast, you can join ALCS. Authors can be based anywhere in the world.

A lifetime membership with ALCS costs £36. This is not an upfront fee and is deducted from the first payment ALCS makes to members. However, members of the following organisations can join for free:

  • Society of Authors
  • Writers’ Guild of Great Britain
  • National Union of Journalists
  • British Association of Journalists
  • Chartered Institute of Journalists

The ALCS take a 9.5% commission on the royalties paid to their members.

Both World of Books and Bookbarn International also sell across third-party marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay. However, authors will only receive royalty payments on sales made through their direct websites (worldofbooks.com and bookbarninternational.com). This is because both businesses already pay a high level of platform-fees to third-party marketplaces. This is an entirely voluntary scheme linked to sales made directly through their own websites.

The royalties authors receive for the resale of their works through worldofbooks.com or bookbarninternational.com will depend on various factors including sales price and other costs. The organisations and businesses involved will be able to supply more information following the first payments made by ALCS in October 2021.

Yes. Because the scheme is linked to a fund dedicated to support it, there are limits on how much an author will be able to receive. The most any author can currently receive from the scheme is capped at £1,000 a year.

Authors will receive payments if any royalties are due, twice a year in March and September.

World of Books Group have created a fund of £200,000 to pay authors royalties for the first year of the scheme. It is expected that this will increase in subsequent years as the contribution is linked to business performance and profit.

The funds are linked to the business performance at World of Books Group. The initial fund for the first year stands at £200,000. It is expected that this amount will increase annually as the business grows.

AuthorSHARE are dedicated to ensuring authors are supported. If any funds are left unallocated at the end of the year – or royalties that exceed the £1,000 limit – will be added to the Authors Contingency Fund, managed by the Society of Authors. The fund will be used in its entirety ever year and will not roll over.

Other online retailers of used books are welcome to join the scheme! It has been developed to support the writing community and open up a new source of income for authors. The more retailers that are interested in being involved, the greater the benefit for authors.

Retailers can contact World of Books Group at marketing@worldofbooks.com or William Pryor at Bookbarn International at william@bookbarninternational.com.

At worldofbooks.com and bookbarninternational.com, we are aiming to indicate which used books will qualify for the scheme. This feature may take a short while for us to introduce.

We have a toolkit of social media assets that you can use to let your social media followers know you will receive a payment when used copies of your books are sold via worldofbooks.com or bookbarninternational.com. These are available for download above.