ALCS, the UK Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society, collects secondary royalties on behalf of writers for work published in the UK, and campaigns and lobbies on writers’ rights at national and international levels. The society is now in its 40th year and to date has paid £450 million to its 90,000 members.
These royalties come from photocopying & scanning by business, education and other organisations, overseas library lending, re-transmission, and several other sources. There’s more detailed information on their website.
Not every writer knows the ALCS exists. Everyone should be, and everyone should join. Lifetime membership costs only £36.00 GBP, deductible from your first royalty payment. In fact if you are a member of the Society of Authors or one of a few other organisations, membership is free.
I wasn’t sure of membership is open to all nationalities so I contacted the ALCS and they confirm that is the case – anyone can join.
So why should you join? Well, why shouldn’t you? If you have had any magazine articles, short stories, novels, scripts, etc published, you may well be owed money and the ALCS will collect it for you .
I’m by no means a widely-published writer but my payments are worth having – my last payment was just under £150.00. Honestly, I have no idea where this comes from and am very grateful to the ALCS for their collection efforts! So far, year by year, this has slowly grown. More successful writers payments are quite substantial.
Once you’ve joined all you need to do is register existing work and add new publications as they come along. Then, once a year, you can look forwards to some extra income from your hard work.
Which reminds me, I need to update my publications.