Authors call for better PLR guidance

<p>Novelists Jon McGregor and Danny Scheinmann have called for better guidance for first-time authors about the need to register for Public Lending Right, after missing out on payments due to them for their library loans. It follows the revelation last week that Tim Butcher received no PLR payments for <em>Blood River</em> (Chatto), the most borrowed travel title in 2007/08, because he was unregistered.</p><p>Scheinmann&#39;s d&eacute;but novel <em>Random Acts of Heroic Love </em>(Doubleday) hit the bestseller lists after being featured on &quot;Richard &amp; Judy&quot; in January 2008. He said: &quot;I will have lost all the earnings I was owed for this period. This is one of those things that no one tells you as a first-time writer.&quot;</p><p>McGregor said he had not known about the need to register for PLR for four years after publication of his Man Booker-nominated d&eacute;but,<em> If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things</em> (Bloomsbury) in 2002. He added: &quot;In those early years my PLR cheque would have been a substantial part of my income. When I first got a publishing deal I was very much outside the book world, and everything I learned about it was from my agent and editor, who have no reason to tell me about PLR.&quot;</p><p>Head of Public Lending Right, Jim Parker, said his small team worked hard to get the word out. He said: &quot;We have to keep the cost of advertising down so that we can use that money to give to authors. Normally we get 1,200 to 1,300 new authors a year, but this year we&#39;ve already passed 1,850.&quot;</p>