Additional $ources of Revenue for Canadian Authors

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Yes, we know that’s not Canadian money. Stop being so picky.

Happy New Year, authors. I’m going to try and help make 2016 begin with a bang for you, especially if you’re Canadian.

If you’re a Canadian author there are a couple of financial opportunities available that you may not be aware of. There are two organizations that would like to compensate you financially for your hard work. There is no charge to sign up for these programs, the checks come annually, and the payments are available to traditionally published authors as well as self-published authors. You just need to know where to apply.

The Public Right Lending Program (PLR) has been paying authors since 1987. The organization is administered by the Canada Council for the Arts and pays Canadian authors who have books that are available for borrow in Canadian libraries. The payment is not based on the amount of times your title has been loaned out but on the amount of titles you have available in libraries, as well as other variables. The folks at Canada Council of the Arts monitor libraries and then calculate how much they’re going to pay you. But, first you have to apply. The application period is between mid-February and the beginning of May. And, if you miss it you’re going to have to wait until next year. Until now PLR payments has applied only to print books but for 2016 they have opened their requirements to also include eBooks. That’s quite exciting and will give authors even more ways to potentially cash in.

Here’s the link to the PLR page for more information. Make sure you check the eligibility requirements. Some how-to non-fiction books are ineligible but fiction, children’s literature and poetry is eligible. Once you’ve applied, the Canada Council will send you a new application each year at the beginning of the eligibility period so that you can add new titles.

Your second opportunity is through Access Copyright. If you become an affiliate with Access Copyright, they will try to make sure you receive payment if your work is copied, remixed or shared. Access Copyright is a non-profit organization and again, it’s free to sign up. You only need to register once and then, if your work is eligible, they’ll send you a check every November. When I first registered with them I ran into a couple of snags and had to click on the dreaded “Contact Us” tab. No worries though. They were very helpful and got me on track. This payment applies to print books only. Here’s the Access Copyright site.

I’ve been paid each year by both of these organizations. I tend to do the paperwork and then forget about it until the check arrives, so it’s always a nice surprise. Remember, bear in mind not everyone is eligible. But, you might be. Please take the time to check them out and if you qualify sign up. And, if you know any Canadian writers, pass the word. And yes, you’re welcome and I know, the check is in the mail.

Author: Martin Crosbie

Martin Crosbie is the administrator of and writer of seven published novels. His self-publishing journey has been mentioned in Publisher’s Weekly, Forbes Online Magazine, and Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper. You can learn more about Martin on his Amazon author page.

22 thoughts on “Additional $ources of Revenue for Canadian Authors”

  1. “Only in Canada you say? Pity.” (this just reminded me of that Red Rose tea commercial, lol) Thanks, Martin. I knew about the first and had heard about the second but still need to do something about it.

  2. Perhaps I should have accepted the offer of a Canadian passport all those years ago when I was offered a job working with remote Indian populations in Seskatchewan. When they discovered I was a Brit they offered me a Canadian passport. Stupidly I declined, and lost the job. In retrospect that may have been a dumb decision. They were going to provide me with a float plane too, with skis for the winter, when all the lakes were frozen.
    But then, I hate the cold, so maybe it wasn’t so dumb. 🙂

  3. I have dual citizenship and lived several years in Toronto before joining my kids in Los Angeles. I don’t think this benefit applies to me any longer. Canada has great perks for writers–add free ISBNs to the list. How could I inquire about that? We pay a fortune here for US ISBNs. I’ve never considered trying to get my book into Canadian libraries but it’s a thought.

    1. Yes, thank you Ester. I should have mentioned free ISBNs. I think this is available only to Canadian residents but you could always check out if you’re eligible.

  4. I have received payback from both of these programs in the last few years since my novel was published. They are great! When I registered I was surprised to find that feature articles in magazines and even newspapers were also allowed–though I believe there were some criteria for submitting them.

  5. Happy New Year, Martin. Thank you for this. I got a little check from Access Copyright, but did not know about Public Lending Rights. I’ll check it out and pass it on.

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