Public Lending Right (PLR) is the right for authors to receive payment for the loans of their books by public libraries.
I’m a huge fan of the PLR and not only for the obvious reason that they send me money each year, but also for the fact they are so good at their job.
I first found out about them a few years ago when one of their operatives phoned me up to say she’d noticed I hadn’t registered with them and was due some money if I did so. Since then they have operated with quiet efficiency, paying my money directly into my bank each February without fail. They’ve also got an excellent website – nothing fancy, it just works.
If you’re a published writer and you’ve not signed up yet, you could be losing money. Where does it come from? Well, again, as it says on the website:
Under the PLR system in the UK, payment is made from government funds to authors, illustrators and other contributors whose books are borrowed from public libraries. Payments are made annually on the basis of loans data collected from a sample of public libraries in the UK. The Irish Public Lending Remuneration (PLR) system covers all libraries in the Republic of Ireland and operates in a similar way.
To qualify for payment, applicants must apply to register their books.
It takes less than ten minutes. There’s absolutely no reason not to sign up.
There’s a nice end note to all this, too. Many top selling authors waive their PLR payments, allowing them to go back into the pot to help out other writers.
PLR, they really do bring a ray of sunshine into these dark January days.