How to survive Xmas
'TIS THE season of compulsory holidays. But how are forcibly underemployed freelances supposed to survive the Christmas period?
You could use the downtime to sign up to the Authors Licensing and Collecting Service (ALCS, www.alcs.co.uk) if you haven't already, that's how. The ALCS licences - for example - libraries to make photocopies of articles, and the fees from this are distributed to the articles' authors, that's us.
If you're already an ALCS member, now's the time to update your ALCS records of the articles you've written recently, via the ALCS website member's area, in time for the distribution in early 2013. If you've forgotten your password, ring them before they close on 22 December to be reminded of it.
Photographers can do the same via the Design and Artists Copyright Society (www.dacs.org.uk). If you've had a book published, now's the time to register it with Public Lending Right (PLR - www.plr.uk.com) to ensure you get some pennies each time it's borrowed from a public library. And while you're at it, does your NUJ Freelance Directory entry need updating? It's free to NUJ members: www.freelancedirectory.org
The holidays are also a time to ensure your completed online tax is sent off by 31 January to avoid a fine: see here. There are also letters you could be writing to your MP about copyright legislation (page 3) during this period of not much work - preferably to put in an envelope ready to post on 6 January when they get back from recess.
Finally, we commend to you Humphrey Evans's guide to Xmas freelance survival at www.londonfreelance.org/fl/survive.html