This is from MediaBistro.com:
Norway buys 1000 copies of every book a Norwegian author publishes. It provides a $19,000 annual subsidy to every author who is a member of the Authors’ Union. The Association of Bookstores is allowed to have a monopoly on the sale of books—but is prohibited by law from engaging in price competition. It requires, by law, that bookstores keep books in stock for two years regardless of sales. And it exempts books from its very steep sales tax. Not surprisingly, Griswold finds, “Norwegians everywhere read, and they read a lot; Norway has one of the world’s highest reading rates.”I tried to confirm those figures at the Authors' Union website but, unsurprisingly, the text is in Norwegian. The quotation comes from Regionalism and the Reading Class, a book on sociology by Wendy Griswold.
Wouldn't that be nice? $19,000 a year may not be enough to live on, but it would certainly help! It only applies to those living in Norway, but, still, I can't help but wonder what the entrance requirements are for joining the Authors' Union!
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Photo credit: Photo by Mahlum, altered by Karen Woodward