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Submit articles by 30/11/21 for ‘free money’ via ALCS

IF YOU are a member of ALCS (the Authors Licensing & Collecting Society), you have until 30 November 2021 to submit details of your articles in magazines and journals (regrettably not newspapers) to get paid "free money" for secondary uses of your articles such as photocopying in university libraries.

Flag of Saint Andrew

30 November is Saint Andrew's Day, commemorating the patron saint of fisherfolk and of Scotland, and is also the deadline to submit articles to ALCS

You'll need to give the month of publication of your work, the article title, approximate word count and ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) of the publication your article appeared in with your byline. There's an ISSN finder here.

Some publications will now have a different ISSN listed for their print edition and their online edition. The Freelance understands that ALCS will pay you for articles that appear in periodicals that now exist only as online PDF files – such as a lot of business-to-business publications these days, especially post-pandemic.

30 November is also the deadline for submitting details of your "visual contributions" - these are photos, diagrams or illustrations to illustrate your articles, images in which you have copyright. Tables and maps are excluded. There are guidelines on visual contributions here.

Data submitted in this way by ALCS members forms the basis of ALCS's "March distribution", in which most of the money that comes LFB members’ way via ALCS is paid out. In March 2021, the figure was a record-breaking £26 million divvied up between 90,000 ALCS members.

The current record payout for an individual LFB member via the ALCS March distribution that we know of is £7100 in 2020. One LFB member reported getting over £5000 in the March 2021 distribution.

Payouts to ALCS members who have books published – or chapters of books, or who are credited as the editors of anthologies - are included in the system too, covering secondary uses such as loans and copying in university libraries.

If you are not yet an ALCS member, we recommend you sign up now - though you've missed the deadline to register to be included in the March distribution. New ALCS members can still benefit from the smaller September 2022 distribution and of course the March 2023 bonanza. Joining is free to NUJ members.

Photographers and visual journalists who produce visual work that stands alone as photo features or complements the written work of others should investigate the equivalent for visual artists – DACS. This makes an annual distribution each autumn, based on data submitted by members with a deadline of late March. Last year it shared out £5 million, with individual payments of "up to £600 for photos in books and magazines", according to its website.

ALCS is part of a campaign for a substantial increase in funding for Public Lending Right, a separate system of micropayments to authors every time their book is borrowed at a public library. The campaign urges members to write to their MP - see here.