PLR (Public Lending Right)

I would guess that most of my author contemporaries have already registered for PLR – the Public Lending Right – which was campaigned and fought for in the 1970s by authors including (the great) Maureen Duffy and Bridget Brophy. (Duffy interviewed here by Jim Parker.)

PLR means that authors (illustrators, etc.) get a small payment for every library loan.

Here’s the blurb:

If you are a published author, illustrator, editor, translator or audiobook narrator you could receive remuneration as a result of public library book loans. This could be up to £6,600 per year if you register for the UK PLR scheme or up to €1000 per year for the Irish PLR scheme.

If you follow authors on social media, you may have noticed a flurry of PLR-related posts in the past week. That’s because the UK PLR statements are released in January every year. Payments are usually issued in February.

And even if you’re not a celebrity or a bestseller with hundreds of thousands of loans, at a time when writers’ median earnings are £7,000.00 per year, even a small payment can make a difference. The statements also give a detailed breakdown of loans per title, so you get to find out which edition of your books get the most loans. In the case of The Fountain in the Forest, it’s the blue one!

Whether you are a debut author or an old hand who simply didn’t get around to it yet, the registration process couldn’t be simpler. You just need to get yourself a British Library log-in (if you don’t have one already), and have basic info to hand about the works you need to register. Visit the PLR page on the British Library website to find out more about eligibility and registration…


Buy Tony White’s latest novel The Fountain in the Forest via publisher Faber and Faber

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