It was so good that the AGM of the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society was held in Manchester yesterday. A bonus too that it was held in the glorious Midlands Hotel that already has a rather beautiful Christmas tree in the foyer.
It's probably worth remembering that Manchester is really right in the middle of the UK. So holding the AGM here every other year makes sense.
The afternoon started off well with a panel discussion chaired by Tony Bradman who is the chair anyway of ALCS. Speakers were:
Mark is an extremely successful indie writer / publisher.
Helen blogs about wine. Her blog has led to publishing and other success.
Xander is from the crowdfunded publisher Unbound. Unbound brings us a whole new way of publishing.
There are certainly several alternatives to the traditional route into getting published.
ALCS continues its excellent work in collecting foreign Public Lending Right payments, payments for recorded items and payments for photocopied texts. Every writer should be registered with them and register everything they write. You'll earn at least £100 a year. I've never earned that little. If you register academic papers, you can enjoy some very pleasing payments. There is a modest one-off payment to join but you don't have to pay up front. It is taken from your earnings. Anyway if you are a member of the Society of Authors, they pay this for you.
As always with these events the questions from the floor and the networking are great boons. One lady raised the question about obtaining royalties on second hand books. ALCS have looked at this and continue to do so. Wouldn't that be something?
It was good as always to chat to other writers over tea and coffee and wine and canapés.