Public Lending Right for Smart Self-publishers

By: R.G. Johnston

Public Lending Right (PLR) is a type of compensation for loss sales, due to an author’s title(s) available in a public library, or a government arts support program—depending where you live. If your book appears in the sampled library branches, you’ll receive a payment. Smart self-publishers know the importance of setting up multiple sources of book revenue. In Canada, it’s through the Canada Council for the Arts.

Check your country’s payment structure and eligibility criteria. The PLR International website has a directory of countries with PLR Schemes in Development and a country list of Established PLR Schemes; select your country and click the Contact Details link, at the top left of the window. Clicking on the “website” link—in the new window—will take you to your country’s PLR website.

In Canada, the author must apply within the application period: February 15 to May 1, of each year. Download a PDF registration form and fill in your title information; sign the declaration and mail it to the program. Check your country for specific instructions to apply.

It’s a smart way to market and earn income—passively.

Remember to register your title with Cataloguing in Publication, so librarians can pre-order your title, or buy it. PLR and CIP programs work in combination with each other; registering your title with CIP and registering with a PLR program could be a sale, as well as an annual payment.

Canada’s PLR program accepts e-books; check out the Commission’s web page for full eligibility details.

Canada’s registration deadline is in 3 weeks—as of this post.


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