Sign up and save an author...

SIGNING the petition below may not save a life but it may, at least, help an author make a living. Public Lending Right is a small sum (currently 6p) collected each time a book by an author is borrowed from a public library. Once a year, the total is sent to the author in the form of a very welcome payment.

If you've written enough books and they are popular enough, you might get near to the maximum payment of £6500 - for most of us, it's considerably less (two or three figures at the most) - but welcome nonetheless.

The government is now proposing to cut the present funding for PLR by £250,000 - claiming that this won't affect authors as the money can be saved from administration costs. Given that the office in Stockton on Tees is minimally staffed, it's hard to see how this can be done.

It seems inevitable that payments to authors will be cut - only by a little, but cut all the same.

Tracy Chevalier, Chair of the Society of Authors has called this "mean-spirited". But it's worse than that - it could be the beginning of an attack on the whole system of PLR.

It needs to be protected - raised with inflation, not nibbled away at by government-inspired mice. Authors need your support, and have begun a petition to retain funding at least at present levels.

Please sign up - go to: http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/plr-funding

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