What is PLR and How Do I Make Money From It?

23/02/2017 @ 16:48:00

PLR, which you've probably never heard of before, stands for Public Lending Right and it's the right of authors to receive payment - albeit only a few pence a time - for the loan of their books from public libraries in the UK and Ireland. The funding comes from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and is paid to authors, illustrators, photographers, editors and translators of books that you and I go into our local library and borrow. There are currently over 22,000 contributors registered on the scheme - including me – and whenever a book is borrowed our fascinating borrowing habits are revealed.

The UK's Most Borrowed Book

Did you know that the most borrowed author in the UK is James Patterson and the most borrowed non-fiction writer is Mary Berry? We do love our crime and cookery! To Kill a Mockingbird is still the most borrowed classic fiction book, and the overall winner last year was The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. For children, Roderick Hunt’s Magic Key series for Oxford University Press is incredibly popular as are perennial authors Francesca Simon, Jaqueline Wilson and Julia Donaldson.

Across the board we adored showbiz autobiographies, personal development, and, unsurprisingly, books about pets. We also borrowed a lot of books to find out how to do something – such as stop smoking or pass our driving test. Regional differences are interesting too: borrowers in Wales love Bill Bryson, the North and Ireland are into their history and London’s top pick was A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari.

So do authors actually make any money out of PLR? 

Last year (2016), sadly, only 307 authors were paid more than £5,000 (the maximum pay-out being £6,600) with the majority receiving less than £100, and that’s for an entire year. If you think all writers earn millions - think again!

Despite that, virtually all authors support the library service passionately. Libraries are vital, not only for the pleasure of reading but as a place of learning and education, a place to join a bookclub, use the computer, get an IT lesson, engage with your local community…and simply read the paper.

PS I'm delighted to announce that this very week the House of Lords have passed an amendment to the Digital Economy Bill extending PLR to the lending of e-books. This is great news for authors and a major triumph for both the Society of Authors and the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society who have been campaigning for this for years.

Back To Andrea's Blog

payment cards accepted
Terms & Conditions, Shipping & Returns | Privacy |
Copyright ©2017 Andrea Shavick Enterprises
Stockport Web Design by GetOnline Design