Audio, eBook creators to be paid in a funding first

Authors, illustrators and publishers whose books help fill the shelves of Australia's libraries will soon receive more than $26 million from the government.

More than 18,000 creators and publishers will be compensated for the loss of sales caused by their works being available at public and educational lending libraries as part of the federal government's Educational Lending Right and Public Lending Right schemes.

Arts Minister Tony Burke says the latter was introduced in 1974 under the Whitlam Government but in 2023 the Commonwealth broadened its criteria, allowing creators of audio and eBooks to receive payment for the first time.

Books are seen on a book shelf
Tony Burke says the government is committed to supporting the nation's story tellers. (Lukas Coch/AAP PHOTOS)

"It's only fitting that five decades on, we can celebrate a modernised and expanded scheme that supports even more creators," Mr Burke said.

Compared to 2022-23, $3.38 million more will be paid out in an expansion Mr Burke says ensures arts workers are recognised and valued.

"The Australian literature sector is home to some of Australia's greatest storytellers - and we're committed to supporting them so they can continue to tell and share our stories," he said.

Book publishers, authors, illustrators, editor, translators and compilers can register by 31 March 2025 to be paid under the next round of the schemes.