Today’s state pension is hardly enough to manage on as it is. And the current state of the economy means we’re all going to have to work longer and get even less in return. So the more we can do to help ourselves in retirement the better.
You might be surprised to hear that part time
There are actually not just one but TWO different ways to be quids in….
The first is PLR or public lending right.
Public Lending Right (PLR) is the right for authors to receive payment under PLR legislation for the loans of their books by public libraries. The UK Government makes a sum of money available every year to pay PLR. Even though it is going to be reduced slightly due to the cuts, there will still be a fund of almost £7 million a year for authors to share in…. and that could be you!
What happens is that the PLR office surveys public libraries to find out how often books are borrowed. Then shares out this money to all the authors in the proportion that their books have been borrowed. Actually, it’s slightly rigged…. so that small authors get more money in proportion to borrowings than the J.K. Rowlings and so on!
You can register for PLR payments as soon as your first book is published, no matter how small. You can get more details here: http://www.plr.uk.com
The second type of ‘free money’ you can claim as a writer are payments from the ALCS. ALCS – or the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society Limited to give it its proper name – is an organisation which collects money due to members for secondary uses of their work. These include such things as photocopying, cable retransmission in the UK and overseas, digital reproduction, educational recording and repeat use via the Internet. This sort of income is typically made up of small transactions that are difficult for individual writers to monitor but which are tracked by ALCS using a sophisticated database.
Put it simple terms ALCS collects a fee from organisations who photocopy and otherwise reproduce articles in magazines and newspapers. It then distributes a share of these fees to all article writers whose work is copied in this way. For example, schools, colleges and businesses often photocopy articles and use them for research, study or training.
To receive a share of these fees you need to register your personal details and details of articles you have publish with ALCS. Their website is here: http://www.alcs.co.uk The website also provides details of how the scheme works. Membership of ALCS does cost £25 (for a lifetime). But you don’t have to pay anything up front – they deduct it from any payments that are due to you.
You can register with ALCS as soon as you have had your first article published…. no matter how short or trivial it seems. As you sell more just update ALCS with the details using their website and they’ll pay out anything you’re owed automatically…. you don’t even have to ask for it.
So OK, you might not get a massive amount from these payments. But there aren’t many pensioners around who would say no to an extra £2,000, £3,000 or £5,000 each and every year from these rights?