Friday, 3 February 2017


I've just had notification of my payment for Public Lending Right (PLR). For American readers (and UK readers that are not that interested in this sort of thing), PLR is a payment that is made every time one of your books is borrowed from a public library. It's a very small sum per loan but most of my books are sold on Kindle and, after Amazon and my publisher have taken their share, I get only a very small sum per copy sold. (What do you expect when you can buy them for £2.99 or less?) So it turns out that my PLR payment is worth having. It represents about 0.01% of the minimum wage for the time spent writing, but it is an acknowledgement that people have been reading my books and, hopefully, enjoying them. It means a lot to me. So, if you are one of those people who have borrowed any of my books from a UK public library, thank you.

Many libraries now lend e-books. If you live in London you should be able to get The White Rajah free online. You'll need to join your local library, if you aren't already a member, but that will be free and does bring other benefits, like being able to borrow all the rest of the books. The London Libraries Consortium may be lending out other books of mine – have a look and see. (Some boroughs – including mine – are on different systems.)

Of course, people can only borrow my books if they are available in their libraries. Most libraries have a simple system for requesting new purchases. How it works will vary from library to library, but it doesn't usually take long. Why not ask them to buy one of my books? If you are asked for details, like the ISBN number, the quickest way to find these is to look for the details on Amazon. If you click any of the book covers on the right of this page, it will take you to the Amazon page for that book.

Getting my books – or any books from less well-known authors – into public libraries is a very good way of getting them seen by far more people. And, it turns out, it's a good way of enabling a starving author to buy a crust of bread (or, in a good month, a whole loaf). On the whole it's a good thing that costs you nothing and takes remarkably little effort. Could you do this for me and, perhaps, for one other lesser-known writer you've enjoyed lately?

The unashamed sales pitch

I post on this blog about once a week. Occasionally, as today, I write something that might directly get people to buy (or, in this case, borrow) my books. More often I am writing stuff about history or reviewing other historical novels. Lots of people read the blog every week, but rather fewer buy the books. As I've just mentioned, all of my books are available on Kindle for £2.99 or less. If you enjoy the blog, you might even enjoy the books. I would be very grateful if you would click on the links and buy one.

Thank you.

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