Royalties on pre-loved books?

There’s an intriguing report in the Guardian this morning about a new scheme to pay royalties to authors for the sale of their books second-hand (used).

This has never happened before; once a book had been sold via a bookstore, publisher, or online, and the author received the royalties, that was that. The print book might have changed hands a dozen times afterwards, but the author wouldn’t receive a single penny more in spite of several more people having the benefit of their work. The only thing we could hope for was that people would read a second-hand book and enjoy it enough to track down and buy others in our catalogue.

Now that might be about to change, thanks to a couple of the larger second-hand book dealers in the UK. I’ve skim-read the article and couldn’t immediately see how the scheme might work on a practical level – or whether sales via charity shops, jumble sales etc would be included. But any extra pennies trickling in from these sales has to help.


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