Authors warn that unfair e-book deals could make them an ‘endangered species’

The Society of Authors has warned that professional writers are being undermined by cut throat e-book deals, which have resulted in slashed incomes, as part of an awareness raising campaign.

In an open letter, the society bluntly stated that professional writers risked becoming an ‘endangered species’ resulting in ‘less and less quality content’ for consumers to enjoy unless contracts and payments are made more favourable to writers.

At present publishers allocate 25 per cent of their e-book revenue to authors, a figure the society would like to see rise to ‘at least 50 per cent’.

Nicola Solomon, chief executive of the Society of Authors, commented: "Without serious contract reform the professional author will become an endangered species and publishers – as well as society at large – will be left with less and less quality content.

"Unless publishers treat their authors more equitably the decline in the number of full-time writers could have serious implications for the breadth and quality of content that drives the economic success and cultural reputation of our creative industries in the UK."

This follows research showing that the median income of British authors is a paltry £11,000, far below the national average of £26,500.