Saturday, February 20, 2010

PSA on the PLR

Yesterday I received my first statement and cheque from the Public Lending Rights Commission. I was very excited, and not just because money had come in the mail--I love evidence that *Once* is out there in the world, doing it's thing (getting read) totally independent from me. In this case, the PLR statement tells me that *Once* is in some libraries.

What the Public Lending Rights Commission does is survey a sampling of libraries and give writers whose books are found in that sample get a little payment for the use their work is getting. It's a bit of a numbers game--even a semi-popular book might happen not to be in the several of the libraries sampled--but it's the best way anyone's found to pay authors for library usage, short of auditing all the libraries in the whole country.

Most published (with an ISBN) creative works and general-interest nonfiction is eligible for the survey, and thus for payment--if the author registers. If you go to that link above, it'll start you on your way to completing the registration--you've got until May to do it this year.

The money's not astronomical, but it's always nice for it to just show up like that. Even better, though, I like the acknowledgement of myself as a writer and *Once* as a book. I don't know about most writers (though I have my suspicions) but I myself am very insecure and prone to authorial existentialism--"Who am I fooling, calling myself a writer?" and so forth. Not that the PLR or any kind of money in the mail proves anything at all; I know plenty of talented writers who don't have a book (yet). But I do like these professional forms to fill out with "Rebecca Rosenblum, author." and I grab all that I can get, even if there's no fame or fortune to be had. In this regard (and this regard only) I even like rejection letters: they address me as an writer, in some form or another.

So yeah, what I'm saying is, register for the PLR if you are eligible--it's a good service for book-writers and a nice acknowledgment of your writerliness. And sometimes money comes in the mail.



amy jones said...


patricia said...

Yes, indeed. That little cheque makes me feel so big. If only for a day or two.