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June 26, 2024

Authors receive first PLR/ELR payments including digital formats

“PLR and ELR payments is Christmas time for creators. It is a much needed gift.”Dub Leffler, Illustrator and ASA Board Director

Last week PLR/ELR payments were made to Australian authors and illustrators, and for the first time included payments for eBooks and audiobooks. The payments total $26.6 million, representing an increase of $3.38 million from last year.

The ASA has been at the forefront of campaigning for Lending Rights: we fought for and achieved PLR in 1975, ELR in 2000, and the expansion of the schemes to include digital formats (DLR) in 2023.

ASA Chair Sophie Cunningham says, “There’s nothing more exciting than seeing the results of years of lobbying turn up as cash in your bank account. My DLR payment accounted for a significant increase in my PLR earnings this year. Heartfelt thanks again to all the people who fought so hard for DLR for so long.”

DLR Campaign Ambassador, Carrie Tiffany, says, “Along with the delight of my own inaugural DLR payment, the knowledge that each time I borrow an ebook or audiobook creators are being rightfully compensated –  that’s a great feeling. Well done to the ASA and everyone who advocated for DLR to be included in the Government’s Public and Educational Lending Rights Schemes.”

We know that PLR/ELR payments represent the most significant and meaningful way that the Government supports Australian writers and illustrators, and are, often, a reliable source of income in a financially precarious career. ASA Board Director Danielle Clode says, “Lending rights not only provides a much needed stable  income stream for authors and illustrators, but also heartwarming proof of the ongoing value of their work to readers well beyond initial sales. Including audio and ebooks in the lending rights scheme significantly increases author income and is a rare recognition of rights for authors in an increasingly fraught digital world.” 

Miles Franklin Literary Award-winning author, Shankari Chandran says, “I’m incredibly grateful to the ASA for its advocacy on PLR/ELR.  That income is very much appreciated and helps me feel valued for the work I produce.”

ASA Board Director Jennifer Mills says, “Like many avid readers I rely heavily on libraries, so it’s fantastic to see this scheme expanded to cover all formats. I was glad to notice an increase, and even happier knowing that so many authors across the country were being recognised and supported thanks to the ASA.”

The ASA exists to support Australian authors and illustrators to pursue sustainable creative careers. If you aren’t currently a member of the ASA, please join and help us to continue advocating for your rights.

Our sincere thanks to the Office for the Arts, who moved so quickly to expand the schemes to include digital formats and boost the investment, ensuring that much-needed funds reached book creators as soon as possible. 

“Every author I know looks forward to June when their lending rights payments arrive, giving them some much-deserved income for the hard work and creativity they put into their books. But now June is even better for authors; their payments include digital lending rights, thanks to the ASA and many others who’ve fought long and hard for this change. It’s great news for everyone: the income boost will help writers to keep writing books, meaning readers have many more stories to look forward to, and our literary culture can continue to thrive.”Natasha Lester, DLR Campaign Ambassador