It's that time of year, the special post-Xmas gift for authors and the joy of (almost) free money: the Public Lending Right. If you are a resident of the UK or Ireland and you ever need a reason for donating your books to the library - on top of all the obvious ones like promoting reading and supporting this valuable and increasingly undermined public service - this is it.
The PLR is a system where authors who've written books that are in public libraries get a little coin (6.05 pence, to be exact) each time somebody borrows their works. It's a way to repay writers who won't be earning a royalty from a regular book sale in a store. The hardworking folks at the PLR office tally a figure from books on their register, and pay out a nominal fee based on how borrowed you were - and in the interests of fairness, you can't earn more than around £6600, so the big names don't get to hog all the money.
In the current political climate, both the PLR and the libraries it springs from are under threat, so if you are a writer or a reader, please do your bit to help support both as best you can.
Meanwhile, here's my Top Ten Library Loans of my novels for 2011 (with 2010's position in brackets)
1 (1) Peacemaker
2 (-) Nemesis
3 (2) The Flight of the Eisenstein
4 (3) The Blood Angels Omnibus
5 (5) Synthesis
6 (4) Red Fury
7 (6) Faith & Fire
8 (-) Icarus Effect
9 (7) Day of the Vipers
10 (9) Deus Encarmine
My Doctor Who-in-the-Wild-West novel Peacemaker remains top of the heap, with nearly a nearly 300% lead, while my last Horus Heresy tale Nemesis came in at #2 with a bullet; and it's still cool to see that my very first novel Ghost Town (way down the list at #20) is still getting read a decade after it was published. As always, my thanks to everyone who supported their local libraries and borrowed my books.