The Rue de Valois is about to entrust a mission to Professor Pierre Sirinelli to discuss the remuneration of authors.
It’s a promising turn for the writers. The situation seemed blocked since mid-March: a negotiation started for months under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture had resulted in a kind of dismissal of the publishers. At the last moment, the National Publishers Union had not validated the final agreement accepted by all the authors’ organizations (1). The text foresaw five points of commitment linked to the transparency of their relations, to the improvement of the information of the authors on the use of their works, such as the establishment of two renderings of accounts per year accompanied by a semi-annual payment of fees. The thorny issue of remuneration has not yet been addressed. According to our information, the Minister of Culture, Roselyne Bachelot, entrusts Professor Pierre Sirinelli with a new mission, which will be formalized next week.
What does it consist of? First to finalize the famous agreement fiercely negotiated for nine months and left in the open since March 16. Then proceed quickly to its legislative transposition. But in addition, a consultation will be opened on the remuneration conditions of the authors, a pressing demand of the latter. In fact, they have been subject to increasing and worrying precariousness for twenty years. According to a study dating from 2016, 88% of them receive artistic remuneration below the minimum wage. It also shows that the average amount of advances paid to them by publishers is less than 1,000 euros and that the royalties they receive for the sales of their works are, in general, less than 7% of the price of the book in general literature (that is to say , 9 euro cents per book for a work sold at 15 euros). The objective of this tripartite discussion (State, authors, publishers) on remuneration will also be reflected in a transparent information tool on book sales.
Open letter to the President of the Republic published in the world On April 2, signed by Séverine Weiss (Association of Literary Translators of France, ATLF) and Christophe Hardy (Society of Letters, SGDL) on behalf of the Permanent Council of Writers (CPE) intended to put pressure. She said in particular: “In front of a SNE entrenched in silence as if waiting for the storm to pass, in front of a Ministry of Culture entering its “reserve”We call on the President of the Republic so that the commitments made with the authors are honored before the end of their mandate. This news of the validation of the first round of negotiations (on transparency) and the announcement of the opening of a new round (this time on remuneration) is reassuring. “The authors’ request has been heard,” we think on the side of the ATLF and the SGDL, who are pleased with “This courageous political decision, taken despite a perceptible reluctance to address issues related to authors’ remuneration and the transparency of sales figures for their works”. Undoubtedly one of the last acts of the Rue de Valois, which will enter a fog linked to the electoral context.
(1) ADAGP, ATLF, COSE-CALCRE, COMER, Casa de la Poesía, PEN Club, Sacem, SAIF, SAJ, SCAM, Self, SGDL, Snac, UNPI, UPP, Unión de Poetas.