Public sector budget cuts are inevitable in the current economic climate. But when it comes to penning work, the famous high-income authors like J K Rowling and James Patterson are so few and far between they are effectively oddities in the world of publishing. For the average author, income is low and comparable to the fees for a private members’ club in London. Thus, the part of that income which comes from public lending rights (PLR), earned through library borrowings, is key to the author.
In the climate of cuts, three bodies have come together with a petition to alert the Secretary of State for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, Jeremy Hunt, that the PLR is not a subsidy but a legal right. In their petition, The Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society, The Royal Society of Literature and The Society of Authors have also noted that ‘…over the last three years, while public spending has been buoyant, PLR’s allocation has fallen by 3%: over 10% in real terms.’
This week, a letter was sent by signatory Baroness James of Holland Park OBE (writing as P D James) to Jeremy Hunt and you can read it here.
For the majority of authors, their working world delivers a tough market and not a lucrative market. Cuts may be inevitable, but so is fulfilling a legal agreement. If you haven’t already signed up, I urge you to do so now.