The European Writers’ Council publishes the final survey on the lasting consequences of the Corona Crisis 2020-2023, together with recommendations for political decision makers
Brussels, July 2023
Supporting writers is supporting diversity, freedom of speech and, ultimately: democracy, education and the mere substance of Europeans civilisation.
The European Writers’ Council surveyed in the study The Economic Impact of Covid-19 on Writers and Translators in the European Book Sector 33 professional organisations from 27 countries comprehent the situation for book authors sparked by the Covid-19 crisis, followed up by One Year of Crisis – The Winter of our Discontent. Loss of income, loss of visibility, decreasing publications, increasing social problems are monitored again and concluded in The Unseen Sequels – 3rd and final monitoring.
A brief summary
The survey and the position paper sum up the key findings and the economic impact of Covid-19 on writers and translators in the european book sector 2022-2023. This Survey – The Unseen Sequels – closes the series.
The deep rupture of the crisis and afterwards we had expected – based on the data in 2020 and experienced cutting through the book landscape –confirmed by the survey One Year of Crisis, has not yet ended.
Cancellation and postponements of books and readings and decreasing income impact harshly on the authors and the whole book sector. Publishers seem to relay in more secure bets as bestsellers, known authors or established topics. Debut authors are challenged even harder, also minority genres as there are: poetry, plays or high literature.In addition, paradoxically, the use of e-books has increased while the income for writers and publishers has declined, as it is evident when applied to public lending. Flat rates in subscription systems mean flat income and as threat as also is the theft of cultural contents which has increased during and after the pandemic.
Some key findings of the 27-page survey The Unseen Sequels:
- > 70% of our respondents titles were affected.
- 21% of contracts suffered delays.
- 42% of contracts were not revamped after the pandemic.
- Almost 1/3 of contracts, award ceremonies or grants were cancelled.
- Almost 2/3 of less successful authors were most affected by cancellations.
- > 46% observed increasing e-lending rates, but also print-loans and subscriptions.
- 20% declare a piracy increasing.
- e-lending increased about 50%.
The European Writers’ Council, representing more 220.000 professional writers and translators from 49 organisations and 31 countries, calls on the Members of the European Parliament, the EU Member States, and the Governments of Non-EU and the EAA countries:
to act with determination and protectively for authors as the real source of a such important sector in terms of employment and economy: the sources of the book value chain, literature, and knowledge. EWC urges to improve the following:
- EU-wide harmonisation of authors’ working conditions.
Public lending right, equipment levies, educational budget.
Support of monitoring and of author‘s organisations.
Preserve Europe’s diversity on an equal basis.
Involving authors in economic and political transformation processes.
Not forgetting the lessons learnt.
To the EWC Position Paper.
- One Year of Crisis: The Winter of our Discontent
- Survey 2021
- The economic Impact Of Covid-19 On Writers And Translators In The European Book Sector 2020
- Survey 2020