Sign our 40th birthday card to PLR!

September marks the 40th anniversary of the introduction of Public Lending Right (PLR) in the UK. The Society of Authors took part in a long campaign to get a PLR system introduced in the UK, and this was finally achieved through the Public Lending Right Act 1979. Since then authors have received a modest payment (currently around 8p) whenever their books are borrowed from public libraries. Last year our campaigning achieved the extension of PLR to e-books and e-audio books.

To coincide with the anniversary we are compiling a ‘Birthday card’ to PLR. We are encouraging authors to share short messages about what PLR means to you and why it is so valuable for writers, illustrators and translators.

Please share your messages by emailing

We will put these messages together into a 40th birthday card to PLR.

We should never take public funding for PLR for granted, particularly given that the Government plans to review all departmental spending later this year or early next year. We will need to make the case for maintaining the PLR budget and these messages of support from authors will form an important part of our lobbying work as well as celebrating the fantastic achievement of the introduction of PLR.   


Mike McGrath (10/08/2019 04:51)
" The UK Public Lending Right (PLR) is quite simply BRILLIANT!
I know from worldwide sales how many readers buy my "In Easy Steps" titles.
But PLR is the ONLY way I can appreciate how many UK library readers I have."
Donna Baker aka Lilian Harry (09/08/2019 05:48)
" I have been receiving PLR since only a year or two after it began and it has been a welcome addition to my income - for many years now I have been lucky enough to be amongst the most borrowed authors. And that’s what is most important to me - the fact that so many people can read my books and PLR, as well as adding to many authors’ incomes, also forms a record of how many people enjoy our books. It is just sad that so many libraries now can afford to buy all the books they would like, so a lot of authors don’t get the recompense they deserve, but PLR has been an important source for many and it is good to see other forms of accessing and enjoying our work, such as e-books and audios, being acknowledged.

Many thanks to those who worked so hard to achieve this."
Liza Tait-Bailey (09/08/2019 04:15)
" As a reader, PLR is important to me because I want authors to benefit from my reading them. I don’t have a lot of money at the moment and libraries allow me to read voraciously but authors should be recognised for being read, not just for being bought."

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