Maximizing your Royalty Earnings
Wiley's Rights and Licensing teams are responsible for securing additional revenues from secondary licensing such as translation rights, digital licensing, and republication requests for the books that we publish. The Royalties department then shares those revenues directly with book authors on the terms agreed upon when their book was commissioned.
In addition to publishers' efforts in negotiating secondary licensing agreements, the U.K. Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) seeks to fill the gap between what is feasible or practical for a publisher to license directly and what is not. For example, ad hoc copying of book chapters through scanning and photocopying, carried out every day in universities, government departments, and a range of commercial businesses, is best dealt with on a collective licensing basis. This enables our authors to benefit from payment of royalties for all types of reuse of their work.
The ALCS is a U.K.-based, not-for-profit organization established by writers, for writers, more than 30 years ago. It works closely with the Copyright Licensing Agency in the U.K. to ensure that all areas of secondary licensing in the U.K. are appropriately covered and that both authors and publishers receive their fair share of these fees. Since its foundation, the ALCS has paid over $365 million in fees to more than 74,000 member writers. In the last year alone, ALCS has paid $3.6 million to authors based in America either directly or via its U.S. counterpart, the Authors Registry.
Because such revenues are collected based on ISBNs, finding individual contact details, especially for multiple-authored titles, can be difficult. The ALCS work closely with many publishers, including Wiley, to facilitate this process and deliver the best possible outcome for authors.
And Now, the Good News
The ALCS is currently holding royalties for over 2,500 Wiley book authors to the tune of $750,000. All these authors need to do is register with the ALCS and claim them. We advise all book authors who have had work published in the U.K. to contact the ALCS, both to determine whether any royalties are being held for their work and to enable the ALCS to contact them should they collect any royalties for them in the future. Depending on the authors' individual circumstances, the ALCS will advise them whether it would be better for them to join the ALCS or their own domestic organization.
Registering with the ALCS offers the following additional benefits:
- All ALCS members who have registered titles to their ALCS accounts are entitled to annual "top-up" fees in addition to any title-specific fees. These are monies that cannot be linked to specific titles or authors and therefore are divided among all members (this amounted to approximately $190 per member in February 2010).
- Registering with the ALCS and encouraging colleagues to join at the start of their careers will result in fewer authors for ALCS to track down later and fewer royalties unpaid to those whose work has earned them.
If you have any queries regarding the ALCS or any payments made or due to you, please visit the ALCS Web site or the Authors Registry.