‘What prevents you from spending more time writing?’ One of the questions being asked in the 2022 Macquarie University Survey of Australian Authors

‘What prevents you from spending more time writing?’ One of the questions being asked in the 2022 Macquarie University Survey of Australian Authors

April 27, 2022
The Macquarie University Survey of Australian Authors was last carried out in 2015 so it’s great to see an updated survey being run in 2022. Responses are being sought from traditionally published and self-published Australian authors including members of the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi). The survey will remain open until May 27th, 2022.
Here’s some background from the Macquarie University Survey Team which includes Dr Paul Crosby and Dr Jan Zwar:
The survey investigates the experiences 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. It also examines whether authors are changing their creative and work practices in response to shifts in the industry. We are interested in the views and experiences of a diverse range of professional Australian authors in the book industry.
This survey follows from the earlier survey of book authors that we carried out in 2015. The results of that survey drew widespread attention to the difficult financial circumstances of Australian authors. The present survey is updated to find out how far the fortunes and practices of writers of Australian books have changed, including the impacts on authors of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is a national survey, covering writers in every State and Territory. You don’t have to have completed the 2015 survey to do this one.
I particularly look forward to seeing the responses to this question…sadly, I was able to tick quite a few 😉
These days, what prevents you from spending more time writing?
  • Insufficient income from creative work
  • Marketing and promotion activities
  • Other tasks associate with my writing such as administration, meetings, networking
  • Domestic responsibilities/househol duties/childcare/care for other family members
  • Demands on my time due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Community or cultural responsibilities
  • Volunteering within the book industry
  • Volunteering outside the book industry
  • Illness
  • Study
  • Demands of another job
  • Disillusion with writing as a profession
  • Lack of motivation
  • Lack of self-belief
  • Other
The national survey of Australian authors is a collaboration between Macquarie University, the Australia Council for the Arts and the Copyright Agency.

To complete the survey, visit www.mq.edu.au/authors-survey.

And why is it worth your time? Here’s information from the launch of the survey:

 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. 

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.