In Which My Books Are Borrowed!

Last week I got my very first PLR (‘public lending rights’) statement. What is that, I hear you cry?

Well, if you’re a published author, illustrator, editor, translator or audiobook narrator and you register your work here you might/should receive money whenever anyone borrows the book from a public library.

Which is jolly nice, isn’t it?

To my surprise – because I was expecting it to be hardly anything – in six months, my one and only book (at the time) was borrowed almost 500 times (230 as an e-book, 171 in paperback and 94 as an audiobook). Which is rather pleasing! And I will be getting a very welcome little lump of cash that I wasn’t expecting.

So please don’t forget that even when you borrow an author’s book, rather than buying it, they still receive a small payment. Every little helps, as they say.

Writing Retreats & Getaways

And still on the subject of libraries, are you aware of Gladstone’s Library in Flintshire (Wales)?

It’s a residential library, with rooms (which look very nice) and a restaurant. So you can stay there and use it as a writing retreat or workspace. Anyone ever been? It looks fabulous. I want to go!

They currently have a special offer for residential stays of at least 2 nights in Jan and Feb (obviously January is almost over as I write but there’s still next month!).

Novel-Writing Weekend 17th – 19th March 2023

There are still a few places available for an all-inclusive writing retreat in the Midlands (March 17th – 19th 2023) with Alison May and Janet Gover “for writers at any stage of their career, who want to get new ideas, inspiration or just a lift!”

I’ve been on a couple of these writing retreats – in fact, my debut novel started life at one of them – and they’re great fun and good value and you learn a lot!

In fact, the only reason I’m not going on this one is that I have a deadline for novel#3 of.. 17th March (and knowing me, I will have to ask for an extension – which will be that weekend) so I can’t go.

But I can highly recommend it! More details here.

Primadonna Prize

I’d never heard of the Primadonna Festival or, indeed, the writing competition before but I came across it on Twitter and as it involves my publisher – HQ – it caught my eye.

There is an £8 entry fee but don’t let that put you off (if £8 is beyond your reach – and in these difficult times, that’s quite possible – there are also a number of free entries available, so it’s worth asking).

Here are the details:
The Primadonna Prize is for unsigned and unrepresented new writing talent. It was established to open up access to the publishing industry, and is judged anonymously and without regard to grammar or spelling: a first for a literary prize.
This year’s Primadonna Prize for unsigned and un-agented authors will, for the first time, offer the winner a book contract with HQ with an advance of £7.5k for World English rights.
The winner will also work with Curtis Brown’s Alice Lutyens, who will develop their shortlisted piece into a publishable book. There is a cash prize for the runner-up, as well as a mentoring session with a member of the Primadonna team.

To get through the first round, you have to write 500 words of new writing (fiction) on the theme of ‘renewal’. If that sounds interesting, read more about it here.

Spare Me The Details!

I’ve just finished reading Prince Harry’s tome (the fastest-selling non-fiction book of all time. It sold 1.43 million copies during its first day on sale in the UK, US, and Canada).

Shame on me?! Anyone else prepared to admit it? It’s amazing how many people I know who’ve said, ‘Ooh, I wouldn’t buy it but, erm.. can I borrow your copy?!

I was intrigued and actually, apart from the bits about.. well, his bits.. (too much information), I enjoyed it.

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4 Responses to In Which My Books Are Borrowed!

  1. Bea Charles says:

    Yes, I’ve stayed at Gladstone’s Library a few times. Fabulous, I find it perfect for a private writing retreat.
    Well done on the PLR payments. Wishing you continued success with your novel writing.

  2. Sharon Boothroyd says:

    Well done on the PLR rights Helen.
    I wonder if Prince Harry actually sat down and wrote his book himself? I suspect not, as I heard he had a ghost writer.
    I’m sure it’s a good read but (sorry!) I’m not fan of this couple, who apparently craved privacy and peace.

    • Thanks for your comment, Sharon. It’s no secret that Harry had a ghostwriter. It was J R Moehringer, who also ghost-wrote the Andre Agassi memoir ‘Open’ which I loved. So I obviously like his style of writing!

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