how the uk library sample affects authors

I write 'local interest' books - how does library sampling affect me?

My book is self-published - how do I get libraries to buy a copy?

Is it worth offering free copies of my book to libraries?

Can you provide addresses for public libraries?

 

 

I write ‘local interest’ books – how does library sampling affect me?

To try to ensure that local interest writers get a fair - albeit occasional - chance to earn PLR we are obliged to move the sample around with a third of the libraries being replaced each year.

If the area where your books are popular is not currently in the PLR sample, they will probably not qualify for a PLR payment.  However, as approximately one third of the sample authorities are changed each year, it is likely that you will have the opportunity to qualify for payment at some stage.

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My book is self-published – how do I get libraries to buy a copy?

The PLR office does not have any influence over the books which libraries stock.  Each library operates their own policy, and stock is either ordered from catalogues (such as the Bookseller) or by their chosen book supplier - based on their community profile. 

If you would like to offer copies of your book(s) for sale, the best advice we can offer is to ensure it has an ISBN (so that it appears in the Bookseller etc.).  ISBNs can be obtained by contacting the ISBN Agency at the following address:-

ISBN Agency
3rd Floor
Midas House
62 Goldsworth Road
WOKING
GU21 6LQ

Tel No: 0870 777 8712
Website:  www.isbn.nielsenbook.co.uk
EMail: isbn.agency@nielsen.com

Books providing advice regarding self-publishing and marketing will also be available from your local library.

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Is it worth offering free copies of my book to libraries?

If you would like to offer free copies of your book(s) to PLR sample libraries, please bear the following in mind:

  • Libraries are not obliged to accept donations and librarians will only take books that they think their customers will want to borrow.
  • They may choose to accept the book and sell it at their next book sale rather than add it to their stock.
  • If they do accept the book, it may not be placed in the central library - it could go to any branch, or even a neighbouring authority that is not in the PLR sample.
  • The PLR sample is not fixed - at least 7 authorities are changed each year, so providing free copies is not a "one-off" exercise.
  • The cost of donating copies may well outweigh the payments received from PLR (each estimated loan is only worth a few pence).
  • Simply having copies of books in sample authorities does not guarantee a payment – books need to be sufficiently borrowed to generate a payment.

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Can you provide addresses for UK public libraries?

A list of sample libraries is available from the PLR office on request, and also on our website. Addresses of the main library in each authority can be obtained from the following publication; Libraries and Information Services in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland which should be available in your local reference library.  PLR only holds the addresses of the administrative headquarters of sample libraries - not the addresses of central branches.

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