03 September 2010
The Society of Authors has created a petition urging the government not to cut the public lending right budget. The public lending right (PLR) is a legal right that authors have to be paid when their books are borrowed from libraries. The amount has been about 6p per loan, and the total per author is capped at £6,000 to stop JK Rowling from getting all the money in the pot.
For many people, especially if you're a business and computer book author, library sales represent the bulk of the potential market, and PLR is an important factor in enabling those authors to create the books they do. If the authors can't afford to create the books, then publishers can't publish them and libraries can't lend them.
There are big budget cuts on the way to help tackle the deficit, but PLR has already been cut for some years. While public spending has been relatively healthy in the last three years, the PLR budget has fallen by 3%, which is a 10% cut in real terms. The Society of Authors notes that the PLR Office has already cut its administrative costs significantly too, which means any cut in the PLR budget will have an immediate impact on authors.
Please support authors and libraries by taking a moment to sign the petition, which is hosted by the ALCS.