A very short blog today, mostly because it’s a small but important subject!
We’re very lucky here in Australia to have a government-run system called lending rights. Each time someone borrows one of my books from a library, the borrow is logged and once a year those borrows are tallied up and I get a cheque in the mail. Nice, huh?
Sure, it’s not like we’re talking a huge payday, but when you’re an author, any cheque is good…welcome, needed…and cashed at the bank within 24 hours.
We have two lending rights programs — public lending rights (PLR) and educational lending rights (ELR). As the name might suggest, public lending rights come from the public libraries that stock your books and educational lending rights come from schools, universities and other educational institutions that buy and hold copies of your book.
I got my most recent PLR and ELR payment fairly recently, as it’s in line with our financial tax year (which for some unknown reason is 1 July to 30 June).
So, I’d like to says thanks to the Aussie Government, and to the library borrowers out there. Sure, it’s a lot less $ per book than what I’d get from a sale, but every little bit helps. And it’s also increasing my reader base, which is a good thing for every author.
So, do other countries have a similar lending rights system? What are your thoughts on this extra author payment. In case you want some cold hard figures, I usually get $2,000-$3,000 a year, mostly from PLR rather than ELR — my books aren’t in many school libraries, for obvious reasons.
PS: As I mentioned in my Wildcard blog on Tuesday, I’m travelling so I’m not sure how much access I’ll have to join in the discussion…just chat among yourselves!