Increasing Transparency: How to Create a Fairer Industry

Increasing Transparency: How to Create a Fairer Industry

12 Mar 2019, 11:30 - 12:30

The Buzz Theatre

The inherent complexities in publishing grow year by year. This can lead to mistrust in the publishing chain. A 2018 Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society survey of more than 5,500 professional writers revealed median earnings had dropped by 42% since 2005, with authors pointing the finger at publishers.

Opaque processes don’t support a culture of trust, particularly when there is a power imbalance in a commercial relationship. Some countries have passed laws to address this imbalance, such as the Copyright Contract Act in the Netherlands, which, In the case of serious inequality between the remuneration received by the author and the profit made from the exploitation, allows the author to claim additional remuneration. This however doesn’t increase transparency.

In November 2018, Spotify launched “Spotify Publishing Analytics”, the first analytics tool from a music streaming service built specifically for publishers, so they can better serve songwriters and artists. It focuses specifically on providing data, creating a more transparent approach to usage figures. The company also acquired blockchain start-up Mediachain Labs in an effort to “further the company’s journey towards a more fair, transparent and rewarding music industry for creators and rights owners”.

With growing demand from authors for regular and consistent data on sales, what can the book industry be doing to increase transparency with authors and improving trust in the chain? How can technology help and what can we learn from our sister content industries?

Join us for a cross industry debate on how we can improve transparency for a fairer future.


  • Kika Sroka-Miller


    Co-owner and Director

    Zed Books

    Kika Sroka-Miller is a co-owner and Director at Zed Books, an independent non-fiction publishing house based in London and the world’s biggest...

  • Dan Kieran


    Co-founder and CEO


    Dan Kieran, described as “a true disruptor” by Richard Branson, is CEO of Unbound. He launched the company with John Mitchinson and Justin Pollard...

  • Scott Winner




    As CEO, Scott drives Ingenta’s mission to help drive the publishing industry forward through the establishment of key strategic industry...

  • Tim Gallagher


    Public Affairs Manager

    Society of Authors

    Tim Gallagher is the Public Affairs Manager at the Society of Authors, where he works on all areas of policy, campaigns and advocacy. Before that he...

  • Philip Jones



    The Bookseller

    Philip Jones is editor of The Bookseller, a magazine he first joined in 1996. He lives in North London, with his partner and three children. 

  • Awsa Bergstrom



    Awsa is a Norwegian/Swedish singer, published songwriter and backing vocalist. As a backing vocalist she has toured, recorded and sung live with...

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