Sir: The books I have written have this past year earnt me, through the Public Lending Rights scheme, pounds 220 - a similar sum to that earned by your correspondent Michael De-la-Noy - but, unlike him, I am not ungrateful. As a lifelong library user, someone largely self-educated, I should hate to have to pay 10p per loan, particularly if the 10p were inflation linked. I read approximately 150 books a year and am 60 years old. I intend to live to 100 years and to continue reading. If, through taxes, I now pay other authors 1.86p per loan, the equation seems to come out in my favour.
No, the real villains of the piece are parsimonious and unadventurous publishers. For the five books I have had published, I have received less in advances than the PLR fund has paid me in 10 years.