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How do authors earn a living? It’s a Catch-22 situation

ft.com – Friday June 7, 2019

As advances dwindle, TV adaptations and literary events are potential revenue streams

The excitement surrounding the new television series of Catch-22, starring and co-directed by George Clooney, is symptomatic of the current vogue for consuming literature via the small screen. Netflix recently announced that it had adapted around 50 literary works over the past year. Whereas once the only way of engaging with a book was to read it, now, in addition to watching TV or cinema adaptations, we are increasingly listening to the book in audio form — or to its author at an event or festival. The growing popularity of these modes of literary engagement is opening up new revenue streams for writers, just as earnings from the traditional model of advances and royalties are dwindling.

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