A big thank you to readers - I'm in the top 3% of authors borrowed from libraries

I'm in the top 3% in the PLR league table of authors most borrowed from UK libraries. So huge thanks to all you lovely people who borrow by books from libraries.

For those of you who are not aware of what PLR is, it is Public Lending Right which allows authors to receive payment under PLR legislation for the loans of their books by public libraries. Payments are made annually on the basis of loans data collected from a sample of public libraries in the UK. Over 23,000 writers, illustrators, photographers, translators and editors who have contributed to books lent out by public libraries receive PLR payments each year. The money is not huge and capped at £6,600 but it's not about that (well not only that) it brings a warm glow to an author, to me at least that my books are borrowed and read.

PLR systems have been established in many countries around the world. British authors can benefit from PLR payments in those countries which have a reciprocal agreement with the UK. Five countries - Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, France and Ireland - now make PLR payments to UK authors via the Authors Licensing and Copyright Society (ALCS).

The Rate Per Loan is 6.29 pence and there are proposals to extend PLR to audio books and ebooks lent out by public libraries in the Digital Economy Bill which is currently going through Parliament. I'm all for that because all my books are available as e books (except Blood on the Sand) and many as audio books.

In the latest league table for July 2008-June 2009  the top authors were all Americans: the thriller writer James ­Patterson, followed by the romantic novelists Nora Roberts and Danielle Steele.

Thrillers, romance and crime novels were the most popular genres in ­libraries, according to the PLR's research and, although many of the top names are familiar: John Grisham, Joanna Trollope and Ian Rankin – the league table of books borrowed from libraries differs significantly from bestsellers.There is no Dan Brown, Stieg Larsson, or Stephanie Meyer among the top 100 books.

Daphne Du Maurier is also on the classics list: 10 of the top 20 books are hers. Five are by Agatha Christie and Georgette Heyer also figures. Good on you, Agatha.

Once again thank you to library readers.  I'll be meeting some of you in the North East of England soon where I am giving talks at Washington Town Centre Library, Stockton-on-Tees Library, Darlington Library and at PSS Wingfield, Hartlepool Maritime Experience, organised by Hartlepool Library.


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