One of the little joys of authorhood is seeing your book in a library, and thinking of people taking it out. It’s also a good retort for those of your friends too mean to buy it. ‘Go to the library.’
I’m a fan of libraries. As a kid, my parents showed me the local library and for years I walked five old books back and took five new books out each Saturday. I was also tall for my age and allowed free range into the adult section rather too early. I couldn’t tell you everything I read, the SF selection tended to be collections, and a lot of Andre Norton. Peter Dickinson’s weird fantasy about a UK with apartheid against green skinned Celts. I’m not sure I remember much fantasy but there were some classics. (Our school library was also rather good.)
To be a writer is to approve of reading, and to believe that access to books is a good thing. But also, authors need to eat.
So the PLR scheme (like a number across Europe) pays each author the princely sum of 9p every time one of their books is taken out. What is more interesting is that it gives a rough idea of how many people borrowed your book – in the relevant period, around 500.
(I thought every book in every library was connected. In fact, they check a sample and scale up which makes sense.)
500 readers. And a little something in the bank next month. And yay for libraries.