January 7, 2009

PLR - The Public Lending Right Commission

Over on the Guardian Books Blog today, David Barnett is talking about the Public Lending Right award. In Britain, the PLR pays authors according to how often their books are checked out from public libraries. The payment is issued once a year, based on available funding and data submitted by libraries. The minimum payment is £1 and the maximum £6,600.

Writers, take note --- this glorious scheme is not only available in Britain, but in Canada, too. In Canada, however, the PLR is administered in conjunction with the Canada Council for the Arts and it works slightly differently: the payment is not based on how many times your book is checked out, but only on how many registered library catalogues your titles are found in. I have heard rumours of writers going from library to library, "donating" their books with the annual PLR payment in mind, but I suspect the actual cheque amounts to be too paltry for this kind of enterprising to be of much concern. In fact, kudos to them for doing the legwork! I wonder how many authors in Britain are coaxing friends and families to borrow their books from their local libraries?

The Canadian Public Lending Right Commission, like the British one, is also based on "available funding." As you can imagine, amounts have dwindled over the years as arts funding has been cut (boo!) and the amount of eligible Canadian writers has increased (yay!). From what I would guess, a good PLR cheque would be a couple of hundred of dollars. But it also sounds as though they have adopted a sliding scale scheme whereby newly registered books are at a premium, with payments reduced over time, shifting the support of the program to currently working writers.

So registering for the PLR is a must if you are a newly published author! The annual registration period doesn't open until February 15, but you can go to the PLR's website to sign up for a reminder email.


Jonathan Ball said...

I was disappointed that when I clicked on the tag "ways for starving writers to make money" a million different posts didn't pop up. I was hoping to make a little money.

saleema said...

haha...well, I created the tag with a certain amount of optimism that I'd be using it again!

Jonathan Ball said...

I am one of those odd people who rarely remembers dreams. All the dreams I actually remember are either boring (I am lying in bed, or looking at a wall, and I get so bored I wake up) or insane horror (I am bicycling along a thin road, which drops away through a forest to a river, and lining the banks of the river are hundreds of nameless people with masks of dried flesh stretched over their real faces... let's just say I'm biking really fast). I might remember six dreams per year.

I wrote a long new post in response to your last comment on my blog, Saleema, so you can check that out at your leisure.

Jonathan Ball said...

Sorry, I posted this in the wrong place, I thought I clicked on the post about dreams.

saleema said...

I think I am going to look up some stats on how many people generally remember their dreams. It seems to me I know a lot of people who say they almost never remember --- though maybe they are just sick of me asking them!