Borrow or Steel? Romance writer Danielle Steel on UK-wide library '10 most-borrowed list' every year since records began

The American author holds the same place in the 'most-borrowed' list this year as she did in 1983 when the Public Lending Right chart started

Sorry EL James but the crown for Queen of romantic fiction is yet to be wrested from the world’s fourth bestselling author Danielle Steel.

The latest figures from public libraries reveal that Steel is the only author to have made “the top ten most-borrowed” list every year since records began in 1983 despite having a reputation among critics for writing “fluff” about relationships among the rich and famous.

The popularity of the California-based novelist responsible for 80 titles and 600 million sales worldwide has remained solid over a period of 30 years judging by figures released today by Public Lending Right (PLR) which provides payment to authors from the British government when their books are loaned by public libraries.

In 1982/83 she was the UK’s eighth most-borrowed author, two years ago she held fourth position and for 2011/12 she also came eighth. In the ten years since 2002 her books have been borrowed more than 10 million times – a feat equalled only by three other authors, James Patterson, Jacqueline Wilson and Josephine Cox.

It is another extraordinary record for the Betrayal author who famously spent 390 consecutive weeks on the New York Times bestseller lists. More than half a billion copies of her books are in circulation in 28 languages and about two dozen of them have been adapted for television.

As an American Steel is not eligible for payments from the PLR but if she had been the multi-millionairess would have been paid as much as £198,000 by the British government. Authors who sign up to the PLR scheme which is funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport are paid a maximum of £6,600 per annum.

This year the PLR will pay out £6.4 million to 23,190 British authors. However, their funding was slashed by the Chancellor George Osborne in his autumn statement by 1 per cent this year and 2 per cent for 2014-15. Writers’ wages have dropped to less than 25 per cent of the national average wage as the top 10 per cent of authors earn more than 50 per cent of the total income available, according to figures from the Society of Authors.

Double Man Booker winner Hilary Mantel is a supporter of PLR. She said: “It is a public fantasy that writers get rich. Many fulfil a demand for readers who seldom buy hardbacks and may not think to buy books only borrow them. PLR, for this type of writer, is a serious contribution to an income.”

The PLR also reveal today that although borrowing from public libraries is declining overall children’s fiction borrowing has risen considerably for the past seven years with kids’ books now representing 37 per cent of all books borrowed (and increase of two per cent year-on-year).

Of the seven authors who clocked up over a million loans in 2011-2012 four of them were children’s authors (Daisy Meadows, Julia Donaldson, Francesca Simon and Jacqueline Wilson), two were romance writers (Nora Roberts and M C Beaton) and one was a crime writer (James Patterson).

Jim Parker, Registrar of Public Lending Right, said: “More women use libraries than men and they tend to bring their children along.”

News
Northern exposure: social housing in Edinburgh, where Hassiba now works in a takeaway
books An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop
Arts and Entertainment
Terminator Genisys: Arnie remains doggedly true to his word as the man who said 'I'll be back', returning once more to protect Sarah Connor in a new instalment

 

film review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Relocation, relocation: Zawe Ashton travels the pathway to Northampton
Arts and Entertainment
BBC Three was launched a little over five years ago with the slogan: “Three, is a magic number, yes it is.”

BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital move

TV
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer

film
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
Armie Hammer in the new film of ‘The Lone Ranger’

TV
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

TV
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

    Greece referendum

    Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
    Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

    7/7 bombings anniversary

    Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

    Versace haute couture review

    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
    No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

    No hope and no jobs in Gaza

    So the young risk their lives and run for it
    Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

    Fashion apps

    Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
    Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

    'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

    Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
    Compton Cricket Club

    Compton Cricket Club

    Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
    London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

    Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

    'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

    It helps a winner keep on winning
    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate