Thursday, 28 February 2008

Plead for PLR Justice

Yes, I skipped a week again - this time it was because of half-term. How people maintain daily blogs is beyond me - and often they're the ones who list the minutiae of their lives in excruciating detail. I promise, my people, never to tell you what kind of toothpaste I use or keep you informed of daily wordcounts or problems with that scene in Chapter 3 where Freddy is having an identity crisis ...

I do, however, have a backlog (as opposed to weblog) of matters of interest and idle notions - how I'm ever going to catch up I don't know. Thing is, access to computer so often fails to coincide with thoughts springing up in brain. Amazing how fluent and inspired I am in the shower or the bus queue or while an Eng Lit student of mine is trying to come up with a reason for the image of an oak tree in stanza 2 line 6.

Today I just want to ask for your help. As you are probably all too aware (especially if you are a writer yourself), most writers earn sod all from their work - and if, as is predicted, the era of the e-book really does dawn and publishing suffers what happened to the music industry, it may well be that with digital rip-off going on, we earn even less. All the more reason, therefore, to protect what we've got, which includes PLR - the fee paid to writers every time a book they wrote goes out on loan from a library. Our Olympics-focussed government proposes not only to freeze the payment (a few pence per loan) but actually reduce it: and it will take 3 years to bring it back up to current levels. For writers, as for Tesco customers, every little helps. So, will you please sign a petition to the government protesting about this? Please go to and add your name.

By the way, if anyone computer-savvy is reading this, can you let me know how to type a URL like that one and have it come up as a link, underlined? This blog used to do that and now doesn't and I don't know why. Thanks.

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