2008-2009 Author Payments

Statistics – 2009 author payments
Number of authors receiving payments:                       16,514
Number of eligible titles in PLR database:                    76,542
Total amount issued in payments to authors:     $9,901,023.60
Maximum payment per title:                                      $280.00
Maximum author payment:                                     $2,800.00
Average author payment:                                           $600.00
Median author payment:                                            $292.00

PLRC’s Budget
In 2008-2009, the budget for author payments continued to benefit from the Tomorrow Starts Today (TST) funding, which provides increased federal support for the arts and culture. The PLRC receives $1 million in TST funding, which ends in March, 2010. In addition, as stated in the Canada Council for the Arts’ Action Plan, released in February, 2008, the PLR’s budget for 2008-2009 was increased by $700,000.

Calculating the payments
Each year, the PLRC makes a selection of public library catalogues to survey electronically and compare to the list of eligible titles registered with the Public Lending Right Commission (PLRC). If a title is found in a library, it is recorded as a “hit” in our system. A title can receive only one hit per catalogue, even if the library contains multiple copies.

We survey six public libraries in each language group and double results for libraries in the largest urban centres. The PLRC makes an adjustment of one additional hit for poetry titles found in these libraries.

This year the value of a hit is $40. In situations where there is more than one eligible contributor to a book, the value of the hit is pro-rated among the contributors according to the percentage of the book that was their contribution. Since there is a maximum of seven possible times a book can be found, the top payment a title can receive is $280 (7 x $40). The minimum author payment is $25 and the maximum author payment is $2,800.

The PLRC’s Growth Management Strategy
Following is the payment scale approved by the PLR Commission in June, 2008, to be implemented for payments in 2010.

Books registered with the PLR program since 1986 will be divided into four categories, based on the number of years they have been registered. An author whose book is found in a sampled library will always receive a payment.

Number of Years Book
Registered with PLR


Category I: 0-5 years

100% of payment

Category II: 6-10 years

80% of payment

Category III: 11-15 years

70% of payment

Category IV: 16+ years

60% of payment

Minimum Payment: Authors with a book found in the sampling process will receive a minimum payment of $25.

Re-Activated Files: An author whose file is re-activated will receive payments based on the category corresponding to the original date of registration.