A new national survey for Australian authors

April 28, 2022

Macquarie University, the Australia Council for the Arts and the Copyright Agency are excited to announce that a national survey of Australian authors is now open.

All published Australian authors are eligible to fill out the survey and we invite you to have your say.

To complete the survey, visit www.mq.edu.au/authors-survey. The survey will remain open until May 27th, 2022.

We estimate that the survey will take around 20-25 minutes to complete. Three prizes of $1,000 each will be given to randomly selected authors who complete the survey before the closing date.

About the survey
The survey investigates the practice of Australian authors in the contemporary national and international book industry. It examines authors’ experiences of publishing, promotional strategies, changes in income, and copyright infringement. We are interested in the views of a diverse range of professional Australian authors.

This research follows an earlier survey of Australian authors carried out by Macquarie University in 2015. The present survey is updated to find out how far the fortunes and practices of Australian authors have changed, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

You don’t have to have completed the 2015 survey to do this one.

Josephine Johnston, CEO, Copyright Agency, says “Macquarie University’s research into Australian authors’ incomes in 2015 has proven to be incredibly useful to the writing industry, arts and government policy makers, and the sector, and this updated version will deliver up-to-date data on writers’ experiences. We encourage as many writers as possible to complete the survey so that we have meaningful information on the current situation for writers. The Copyright Agency’s priority is to ensure Australian writers are better supported and paid appropriately for their writing and this new survey will have a direct impact on our work for the sector.”

Wenona Byrne, Head of Literature, Australia Council for the Arts, says “This research will provide critical insights for the Australia Council and the Australian book industry. By tracking changes from the baselines established in the 2015 study, it will help us understand the changing situation and future outlook for Australian authors and illustrators, including the impacts of the pandemic. We know that writers tend to be among those with the lowest incomes in the creative economy. Robust data and evidence are crucial for effective planning and strategies, and for advocacy regarding the needs of Australian authors.”

Release of Findings
The findings will be released later this year in a detailed report and a series of industry briefs. The results will be used by key industry stakeholders and funding bodies to better understand the needs of Australian authors.

Further information
Further information on the survey can be obtained from Dr Paul Crosby at paul.crosby@mq.edu.au or 02 9850 9469.

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