Every year, round about now, a lovely letter comes through my letterbox. It’s my PLR (Public Lending Rights) statement. This tells me how many books have been borrowed, from the sample libraries used, between July and June of the previous year. It always gives me such a boost to know that children are taking my books off the shelves up and down the country. This year I found out how many books had been borrowed in the Republic of Ireland, too.
For the second year running, Accidental Friends (pictured) was my most borrowed title. It was issued over 5000 times. Yey! Go Accidental Friends. Who says teenagers don’t read?
Next came Football Mad (3000 loans) , though I have to share credits for that with Alan MacDonald and John Goodwin so I get a third of the allowance. Closely behind were Brody’s Back (now out of print in bookshops but available in the Clubbing Together series) with 2561 and Sammie’s Back -2315.
My lowest was Getting Rid of Karenna with 19 – not surprising as it’s been out of print for a few years now. It is still available as Saturday Girl (1426 loans).
The Girls FC series is just beginning to make an impact on the shelves, each title averaging 1500 issues.
What’s also great is the author receives 6.25 pence for every book borrowed (to be shared with hteir illustrator or co-writers). It might not sound much but those 6ps add up andI’m grateful for them. PLR is a vital source of income for writers, especially this time of year when there aren’t a lot of school visits to be had. There is no sick pay or unemployment benefit or pension or monthly pay check for a writer. There’s only feast (PLR/advance on sales/school visits) or famine (no book out this year/no school visits/library cuts).
Today I can feast – for a little while anyway. I have to pay my tax bill at the end of the month. Talk about giving with one hand and taking with the other!