Every year the Public Lending Right sends registered authors a statement estimating how many times their books were borrowed from UK libraries. To compensate for lost sales, the PLR pays about six pence per loan. There's a maximum payment threshold [£6600] to prevent bestselling authors from draining the PLR's precious coffers of cash.
About 22,000 authors will get payments for the most recent PLR
period [July 2013-June 2014], with about 190 on the maximum amount.
The fate of the PLR is in flux, as cash-strapped councils close libraries and eBooks alter reading habits. In the meantime,
authors welcome this new year bonus.
It is free to register your books for PLR - just go here. Even if you only wrote [or drew, in the case of comics artist] part of a collection, you can still register your bit. I represent a tiny 3% of the Heavy Metal Dredd graphic novel, but it makes me a few pennies.
I’m a minnow for PLR payments, never getting more than £500
in any given year. With my focus on screenwriting since 2007, and new
novels published in nearly a decade, the size of my payment keeps tumbling as my dog-eared tomes disappear from libraries.
No doubt thanks to the recent movie starring Karl Urban, the most borrowed book featuring my work was a Judge Dredd
graphic novel, Heavy Metal Dredd. An old omnibus of Dredd novels featuring one of mine also makes my top ten this year,
with one of my Dredd novels bubbling under.
My last published novel - A Massacre
in Marienburg, a Warhammer tome for Games Workshop's Black Library -
dropped from second to fifth. Nearly all
my novels on this list are out
of physical print, but many are available as
eBooks. Happily, both graphic novels listed here are still in print.
My Fiends of the Eastern Front novels, plus the
compilation Stalingrad, still get read even though they date back
nearly ten years in some cases. Horror also features in my Nightmare on
Elm Street novel
Suffer the Children.
My old Doctor Who novel Amorality Tale endures, despite being 13 years old. Happily, it is being reprinted next month and that new edition might well propel up my PLR rankings. Anyway, here are my top ten tomes for July
2013 - June 2014 (with previous year's placing in brackets):-
1. (1) Heavy Metal Dredd (graphic novel, published Apr 09)
2. (4) Fiends of the Eastern Front: Twilight of the dead (Jul 06)
3. (3) Fiends of the Eastern Front: Stalingrad (graphic novel, Oct 10)
4. (12) The Complete Inspector Morse (Oct 09)
5. (2) A Massacre in Marienburg (Dec 08)
6. (5) I am the Law: Judge Dredd omnibus (Oct 06)
7. (9) Doctor Who: Amorality Tale (Apr 02)
8. (6) Fiends of the Eastern Front: The Blood Red Army (Apr 06)
9. (10) A Nightmare on Elm Street: Suffer the Children (May 05)
10. (-) Fiends of the Eastern Front: Operation Vampyr (Oct 05)
Bubbling under - Doctor Who: The Domino Effect; Thrill-Power Overload; and Judge Dredd: Kingdom of the Blind.