Cash for old copy

By August 13, 2014Public

Have you joined the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society? If not, you could be missing out on royalty payments for your work. It really is as simple as making money out of old words.

Twice a year the ALCS gets a pot of money collected by the Copyright Licensing Agency which it then distributes to members on the basis of word counts and where the work was published.

alcsIt sounds complicated, but is actually very simple. As the Society explains on its website: ‘If your books, or magazines and journals containing your work are available to be photocopied or scanned in schools, universities, businesses, public sector bodies or libraries then you may be entitled to a share of the income collected by the Copyright Licensing Agency.’

It costs only £36 to join the ALCS for life and there is no need to pay up front — if you’re eligible for royalties your dues are deducted from your first allocation. It’s just a matter of logging details of what you have written. There is even a search facility to check for any outstanding book royalties.

It’s well worth the effort. I recently had a payment of just over £700 land in my bank account and couldn’t work out where it had come from — until my statement from the ALCS came through the post.

There’s another distribution in November, so make sure you don’t miss out. Details on how to join the Society and register for royalties are all available on the ALCS website.

This post was updated in 2022 to reflect current ALCS membership fee.

Jane Symons

Author Jane Symons

Jane is a freelance journalist, author and media consultant whose credits range from The Sun to the World Health Organisation.She edited the health pages of The Sun for five years, and is a former health editor of Woman's Own and chief sub-editor of the Telegraph Magazine.At one time or another she has written for national dailies and magazines including The Sun, Daily Mail, Times, Telegraph, Daily and Sunday Express, Daily Mirror, Woman's Own and Woman & Home. She is currently a regular contributor to the Express and Mirror. Jane provides a range of bespoke consultancy services including content creation, media strategy, writing reports and press materials, crisis communications, media advisory boards and media training.Her book, How to Have a Baby and Still Live in the Real World has been published in the UK, USA, Russia and Sweden. Pregnancy: the Best for You and Your Baby has been published in countries including the Netherlands, France, Spain and the Czech Republic.

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Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Richenda Power says:

    Yes, I’m an ALCS member automatically through my union membership. (I’m in the London Freelance Branch of the National Union of Journalists.)

    We’ve been encouraging people to make sure they keep putting their publications up on the ALCS site.

    Some who did so quite recently have been extremely pleased with the results.

    The money is collected: all you have to do is sign up and enter your productions, and the money appears in your bank account.

  • Content Editor says:

    As some members will already know, the ALCS no longer pays out on newspaper pieces, but there is still a lot of cash on offer for magazine and journal articles as well as books.
    Recent social media posts have mentions payouts in the thousands, so if you haven’t already signed up, it’s well worth a look

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