Philip Pullman argues that authors are being shortchanged on e-book loans


Few people understand the magic of libraries better than Philip Pullman, author of His Dark Materials, but all is not well when it comes to digital lending. As the soon-to-be president of the Society of Authors, Pullman is leading the charge against publishing houses that may be shortchanging writers on e-book loans. In a letter to major publishers like Random House and Bloomsbury, Pullman argues that selling e-books to libraries as single sales rather than licenses costs authors up to two-thirds the income they receive from print loans. The Society’s brief calls for the industry to reconsider existing models for compensation so that writers can continue producing books with which to line library shelves. After all, without authors, there would be no books, and as Pullman himself wrote, “Without stories, we wouldn’t be human beings at all.”