An author's participation in the Public Lending Right (PLR) Program is voluntary. Moreover, registration with the program is not a guarantee of payment.
Authors register their titles with the PLR Program. Works of fiction, poetry, drama, children's literature, general non-fiction and scholarly books are eligible. Ineligible categories include how-to books, guide books, bibliographies, compilations and textbooks. Additional details can be found in the section titled Eligibility.
The Program’s database of registered eligible titles is checked annually against the holdings of a selection of Canadian public libraries. It is the title’s presence in one or more of these participating libraries that produces a payment. A payment scale is used to calculate the payments. The rate used in each of the four categories in the scale is as follows: maximum hit rate for titles registered between 0-5 years; 80% for those between 6-10 years; 70% for those 11-15 years; and 50% for those 16+ years. Only those registrants whose library survey results amount to at least $50 qualify to receive a PLR payment.
Each year the available budget determines the value of the hit rate, the maximum and minimum amounts an author may receive. Additional details can be found in the section titled How the PLR Program works.