French authors demand 10% minimum royalty and restructure of the value chain

Luke AlcottAuthors earnings, France, News

At the most recent États Généraux du Livre (EGL) organised in June in Paris by several French author associations including the Société des Gens de Lettres (SGDL) and a wide range of authors, author organisations and representatives from across the creative industries, discussions on the status of authors and testimonials of authors’ experiences revealed how the livelihood of French authors has changed over recent years.

Faced with overwhelming evidence, representatives of URSSAF, AGESSA and the Directorate of Social Security committed to establishing measures to simplify tax and social security services for the particular needs of authors. In many countries authors find that the sporadic nature of their work and income is not well accounted for by systems and services that are often designed around full-time salaried employment, so it is encouraging to see progress being made in France. The Conseil Permanent des Écrivains (CPE) and its members have pledged to work together on issues concerning authors’ pensions.

While there was good news for French authors in terms of government support, the CPE was critical of poor engagement from the French publishing sector regarding authors’ needs. Authors stated that the publishing sector needs restructuring for the benefit of the entire value chain, and pushed its campaign for publishers to pay a minimum 10% royalty to authors for publicly supporting publishing, as well as supporting legislation that would better apportion value across the creative supply chain. To this end, authors called for open negotiations with the Sydicat national de l’édition (SNE), French publishers’ union.

More details and a video of the event can be found at