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Library Lending Rights

The National Library of Australia in Canberra houses a collection of 10 million items.


Did you know that the Australian library system can pay you a small ‘royalty’ for books held in a library?

As libraries make each copy of your book available to many readers without charge, you miss out on selling those extra books.  So the Lending Rights scheme redresses that in a small way, by paying you approximately $2.11 for each book held in a library.

The details:

  • All Australian public libraries are included in the scheme, as well as school, TAFE and university libraries
  • You must have already registered for the National Library’s PDS (previously called CiP) database for your book to be eligible (which you should be doing anyway)
  • The payments are only made once you reach $100 owing to you, so yes, you do need lots of books to be available to qualify for payment
  • If there is more than one creator of your book, you’d have to share the payment with them
  • If you are self publishing, you are the creator AND the publisher, so you might get paid twice!
  • You need to apply within five years of publication
  • The applications for each year close on 31st March, so if you’ve missed that date, do it NOW so you are on the list for next year.

More in depth information can be found at:

It’s certainly worth having your book available in libraries, as it spreads the word about your work and can increase traffic to your website and create demand for extra sales. If the library has a demand for your book, they’ll order (and pay for) more copies.  And if a reader loves your book, they may well buy a copy for themselves or a friend. Many people donate their books to libraries for this very reason.

Libraries are one more small way to get your book out into the world, and this scheme allows you to be paid for it.  Why not, indeed.

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