The future of an important source of income for writers is in danger. The Public Lending Right scheme collects money from public libraries for each loan of a book. Authors who register receive a few pence per loan in a lump sum, annually.
This is not a ‘hand-out’. The Public Lending Right Act was set up by the government over thirty years ago to establish a more fair system of remuneration for writers whose books are borrowed from public libraries.
Before the Act, apart from the initial purchase of a book by a library, authors received no further royalties, despite that book being available to an unlimited number of readers, practically for free.
Culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt wants to abolish the PLR and transfer its responsibilities elsewhere. Many authors believe such a move will almost certainly lead to higher running costs – and inevitable cuts to their earnings.
We all know how difficult it is to make money from writing, let alone make a living out of it.
Novelist, Katie Fforde, chair of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, has written to Jeremy Hunt to protest on behalf of her members. Other authors have taken up the issue with their MPs
A petition has been organized to fight the proposals. More details about how you can sign up and support it are on Womagwriter’s blog.