Authors receive their PLR statements

Authors receive their PLR statements

More than 22,000 authors will be receiving a total of just over £6m from library loans made from July 2013 to June 2014.

Public lending rate, or PLR, is the money paid to authors when their books are borrowed from public libraries. Currently the rate only covers printed books.

Statements telling authors how much money they will receive for the 2013/14 period are being sent out this week, and money will be paid in February.

The rate per loan (RPL) for the period is 6.66p. This is up from the previous year’s rate of 6.20p per book, due in part to fewer books being taken out of libraries, and because of savings made in running costs of PLR, which was brought under the purview of the British Library in 2013. The transfer to the BL appears to have gone smoothly.

The total number of authors who will receive PLR payments in February is 22,053, down 1.4% from 22,372 in February 2014. The total amount of PLR being paid out is £6,030,000.

Of those 22,053 authors, 190 reached the maximum payment threshold of £6,600. A total of 281 authors will receive between £5,000 and £6,600, with 359 authors getting between £2,500 and £4,999.99. A total of 16,96 authors registered will get no money from PLR, either because their registered books were not borrowed by library users, or because the amount they would receive is below the £1 minimum threshold.

Government funding for PLR is £6.6m, down from £6.9m in 2012/13, and the RPL is calculated by dividing the total number of grossed up loans of registered books into the funding available.

Loan data is collected from a changing sample of UK public library authorities. For July 2013-June 2014, data was taken from 44 library authorities across the UK.

Authors have to register their books to get PLR, and separate editions must be registered separately.

Last year author Tracy Chevalier, chair of the PLR advisory committee, launched a Twitter campaign to make more authors aware of PLR.

Since PLR began in 1979, more than £144m has been paid to authors.

The Digital Economy Act has cleared the way for UK PLR legislation to include public library loans of audiobooks and e-books downloaded to library premises for taking away as loans. The PLR scheme has been extended from 1st July 2014, and next year’s payments will include the new digital loans.