Posts tagged National Endowment for the Arts
Libraries are wonderful places…but they’re a lousy deal for writers. When a library buys your book, you get one royalty. Then hundreds of people get to read your book for free, earning you no royalties at all. The Canadian government recognizes this essential unfairness and takes steps to reimburse writers through a program called Public Lending Right, operated and funded by the Canada Council for the Arts. Every year, the PLR sends a team out to investigate dozens of randomly selected libraries across the country. They search the catalogs for copies of your books, and every time they find one they record it as a “hit” and pay you a set amount for each. This year a single hit was worth an average of about $44, based on how long the book had been registered with the PLR. The checks arrive promptly every February, and can be pleasantly substantial. 41 countries have some system to reimburse writers for books in libraries. Countries without PLR plans include the United States, and all of South America, Asia and Africa. The PLR is just one example of the many ways various nations in the world seek to support the arts—and provide tangible assistance and encouragement to their citizens who work in the arts and the humanities—because they recognize the vital national importance of these activities.