Applying for PLR

apply for PLR

See also our Frequently asked questions

How do I apply?

From 1 April 2012 you can apply for both the UK and Irish PLR schemes through the UK PLR office.

After checking that you and your book(s) are eligible for PLR registration, you may apply via the following methods:

  • If you are applying for UK PLR, or for both UK and Irish PLR you can apply online using our online registration service.  Unfortunately, the online service is not yet available if you are only applying for the Irish PLR scheme. You will need to complete an application form
  • Download an application form.
  • Contact us to request a form to be posted to you.

Am I eligible to claim PLR?

The information below relates to both the UK and Irish PLR schemes. Please note that this is a summary.  Full details relating to eligibility is available in our Information Leaflet.

To qualify for PLR in a book you should be named on its title page or be entitled to a royalty payment from the publisher (but you do not have to own the copyright). When two or more contributors are involved they must divide the PLR between them. This is done on the basis of percentage shares which they must agree before applying for registration.

Every contributor named on the title page of a book needs to be consulted when agreeing percentage shares and the agreed division should reflect contribution. Each eligible contributor may then submit a separate application.  The following types of contributor must be taken into account:

  • Writers - share to reflect contribution
  • Illustrators/photographers - share to reflect contribution even if paid by fee
  • Translators - share fixed at 30%
  • Original author - even if out of copyright or deceased a notional share should be allocated to reflect contribution
  • Adaptors/Re-tellers - 80% of the text share (after the illustrator's share is allocated) where the original author is named on the title page or 100% of the text share where no original author is named or has an agreement with he author named on the title page
  • Ghost writers - if named on the title page or entitled to royalties from the publisher
  • Editors/compilers/abridgers/revisers - share to reflect contribution.  Refer to the guidelines in Section 2 of the Information Leaflet for further details.

From 1 July 2018 the UK PLR scheme has been extended to include public library loans of remote ebooks and e-audio-books. The first payments for these will be made in February 2020. Previously only audio-books (‘talking books’) and ebooks downloaded to library premises for taking away as loans (‘on-site’ ebook loans) were included.

Those wishing to register ebooks and e-audio-books will be able to find information such as the relevant ISBN on their Royalty statement. 

NB: Non-print material does not qualify for registration with the Irish PLR scheme and will not be listed on confirmation prints and statements.

Further information can be found under Registration of non-print material

If your titles are eligible please see our easy to follow Step by step guide to registering. 

Dead or Missing Contributors

Where a contributor has died or cannot be located, the remaining contributor(s) may still register a share. If similar books have been registered in the past, the same share agreement may stand. If not the shares should be reasonable in relation to actual contribution. Before submitting your application you must take into account all eligible contributors named on the title page (refer to information above), and apply to register a share which reflects your individual contribution to the book(s).

I use a writing name, which name should I register with?

You should apply for PLR using your real name.

You are required to provide two pieces of supporting documentation which must match the name on our records.

If you are applying on a paper application form, you may list your writing names under the book details section. If you are applying via our online service, you should provide your writing name when you register your books via the ‘add new books’ menu option (once your account has been activated).

We will link your registered names and writing names together on our records.

Can I apply on someone else's behalf?

It is not possible for someone else to apply on your behalf (eg agent, publisher, partner), unless they are acting under a ‘Power of Attorney’, in which case we would need to see a copy of the legal documentation.

Can I apply for books loaned outside the UK and Ireland?

The UK PLR office administers PLR payments only for the UK and Irish PLR schemes.   However, UK and Irish authors are eligible for payments from the PLR systems operating in a number of other European countries including Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Austria. These payments are administered by ALCS.

Eligible illustrators, photographers and visual artists can apply to claim their share of Dutch PLR payments through the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS). Further information is available from DACS.

Further details on PLR Schemes around the world can be found on the PLR International website.

Can I receive payments retrospectively?

For both UK and Irish PLR, payments are made annually on the basis of book loans data collected from public libraries over a twelve month period.

In the UK this twelve month period is 1 July to 30 June.  To qualify for payment for loans during this period authors must register their books by the closing date of 30 June.

In the Republic of Ireland loans data is collected over the period 1 January to 31 December.  Books must be registered by the following 30 June to qualify for payment for loans during this period.

Neither PLR scheme allows for retrospective payments to be made for earlier years.

How do I get an ISBN/book published?

ISBNs are available from the ISBN Agency. We are unable to assist with publishing books, however one of our links may help:

The Scottish Book Trust - Getting Published

Vanity Publishing - Advice & Warning

Can I apply if I live outside of the UK / Ireland?

To register for the UK PLR scheme, at the time of application you must have your only home or principal home in the UK or in any of the other countries within the European Economic Area (ie EC Member States plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein).  However, please note that under the provisions of the PLR legislation authors resident in UK overseas territories and crown dependencies such as the Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Gibraltar are not eligible to apply for PLR registration. This situation is under review by the government. Should the review lead to the extension of PLR eligibility to authors resident in these territories the PLR website will be updated to reflect this.

If you have more than one home, your principal home is the one where you spent most time during the 24 months before your application.

Continuous residence after registration is not a requirement, however if you move outside the European Economic Area after registration you will not be able to register any new titles or editions for PLR. Books which are already on the Register will remain unaltered and you will continue to receive a statement each year.

To register for the Irish PLR scheme, you may be a resident or citizen of any of the countries within the EEA.  If you are not an EEA resident and are applying for Irish PLR as a citizen, you must provide a photocopy of your passport to confirm your citizenship within the EEA.

Please note that it is not possible to register for UK PLR as an EEA Citizen if you do not live within the EEA.  The UK PLR scheme takes no account of nationality but requires applicants to be resident within the EEA to qualify for registration.

Further details on PLR schemes around the world can be found on our PLR International website.


Register for the PLR scheme

Register now if you have contributed to a book which is lent out by public libraries.

PLR forms and leaflets

Application forms with guidance notes and information leaflets can be found here

PLR payments

Find out how we calculate your payments and how much you can earn if you register with PLR.

Registration of non-print material

Advice on registration and eligibility of non-print material (audio-books, ebooks, e-audio books)

Assigning / Renouncing PLR

How to assign PLR rights (gift/sale or transfer on death) or remove interests from the register

Posthumous applications

Information on making first time and subsequent posthumous applications (following transfer of PLR to new owner)

PLR case studies

…“The financial support is invaluable – translators don’t always get a royalty so PLR is really precious. Equally important is the symbolic recognition of our stake in a book. While it is taken for granted that an author has a stake in a book it is not always remembered that a translator does too.”…

Daniel Hahn, translator and writer, registered for PLR on the publication of his first translation. He values highly the existence of the built-in PLR share to which all translators are entitled. Having translated 35 books and written several others since 2007, Daniel outlined his career as a translator and how he works.

…“I expected pennies and I got pounds! Quite a few more than I had expected. How many times in somebodies life do you get something for nothing?”…

Audio-book narrator Jeff Harding, registered for his PLR share in an astonishing 658 audio books when the extension of UK PLR to non-print material was first introduced in July 2014. He currently has over 700 titles registered. Jeff describes the skills of narration and explains what PLR means to him.

…Tracy Chevalier, Alexis Deacon and S F Said tells us why it is important that contributors register for PLR, how easy it is to apply and the value of PLR to them.…

Watch our short video in which authors Tracy Chevalier and S F Said and writer / illustrator Alexis Deacon talk about why eligible contributors should register for payment through the government-funded PLR scheme.

PLR news stories

UK PLR payments update

1 February 2019

Over 22,000 authors have received a payment through UK PLR

Advisory Committee for PLR - new member

3 December 2018

Writer and translator Daniel Hahn appointed to the PLR Advisory Committee

Most borrowed authors and books in UK libraries

27 July 2018

The latest annual data shows the most borrowed authors and books in UK public libraries during 2016-17

Advisory Committee for PLR - new member

11 June 2018

Writer and illustrator Alexis Deacon appointed to the PLR Advisory Committee

More news stories