Susan Grossey

Both a borrower and a lender be

About a year ago I wailed to you about the pain of PLR.  Public Lending Right is the scheme we have here in the UK to reward authors when their books are borrowed from libraries, to the tune of 6.66p per loan – in other words, a Good Thing.  I was very much looking forward to getting my share of the loot, but it turns out that PLR is calculated not on an actual basis but on an extrapolated basis from stats returned from a sample of libraries – and Cambridgeshire is not being sampled at the moment.  And as my books are only in Cambridgeshire libraries, I do not exist as far as PLR is concerned – boo!  I have taken the matter up with the Society of Authors, asking why PLR cannot be assessed more accurately – with all libraries now recording loans electronically, surely this is possible – and I’ll keep you posted.

However, my PLR pain (particularly in February, when Twitter is full of authors saying “Fab – just received my PLR cheque – I LOVE being an author!” and the like) does not stop me checking the local library catalogue from time to time to see how Sam is doing.  And this is what I see today:

Library catalogue 040316

In case it’s too small for you to read, “Fatal Forgery” and “The Man in the Canary Waistcoat” are out on loan, while “Worm in the Blossom” is on the reserve shelf waiting to be collected.  I may not get any money from these loans, but hopefully people are enjoying the stories, and might recommend them to others and perhaps even morph themselves from borrowers to buyers.  Whatever happens, Martha would be amazed to know that there are free lending libraries, and that people are using them to read about her.

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