How Payments Work

Eligibility does not guarantee payment

Title eligibility does not always lead to payments.

  • You must have eligible titles registered with the program.
  • Each year, your titles must found in selected library systems across Canada.
  • The total calculated payment for your titles must be at least $50.
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How much money can I get?

This will depend on how often your book is found in our library sampling and on payment calculations (see below). If, after five consecutive years of search, a title has not been found, it will be removed from your file.

  • The minimum payment is $50.
  • The maximum possible payment varies every year, based on available budget and number of registered titles. In 2023-24, it was $4,500.

When will I get my payment?

Payments are provided in mid-February every year.

How are payments calculated?

For each title submitted to the program by an eligible creator, our staff will take the following steps:

1. Verification of title eligibility (first time only)

  • Is the book in an eligible genre?
  • Is the creator’s contribution eligible?

Learn more about eligibility

2. Library Sampling (yearly)

To receive a payment, your book must be found in one or more of the selected groups of public library systems sampled that year.

How libraries are selected:

We select public library systems with large collections from all provinces, territories and regions of Canada.

To understand the types of libraries sampled, see the historical list of sampled libraries.

How titles are counted

  • We search for all eligible books in the selected group of library systems.
  • The number of copies of a title and number of times the book is checked out are not counted, simply whether a given library has one or more copies of the book.

3. How are payments calculated?

Payments are calculated yearly.

Payments for each title are based on:

  • The library sampling results
  • The creator’s percentage share of the title
  • How long the title has been registered with the program
  • The amount of money in the program’s budget and the total number of eligible titles

Payment per title = Hit rate × # libraries where title is found × % share × time adjustment

Hit rate

The hit rate for 2023–24 was $61.53 per title.

Note: this amount will change from year to year based on program funding and the total number of registered titles found in library sampling.

Library sampling results

The number of times the title is found in the sampled libraries (0-8).

Percentage share

A percentage based on your contribution to the work. See the percentage share page to understand how we calculate this.

Time adjustment

Payments are adjusted based on the number of years a title has been registered with the program and not on its publication year:

# Years title registered with PLR Time adjustment
0-5 years (Category I) 100%
6-10 years (Category II) 80%
11-15 years (Category III) 70%
16-25 years (Category IV) 50%

Calculation example

  • An illustrator has contributed to a children’s book, which was registered 7 years ago and found in 5 libraries.
  • The hit rate in 2023–24 was $61.53. The title was found 5 times. The illustrator’s percentage share is 50%. Their time adjustment is 80%.

    We multiply the hit rate ($61.53) x # times the title was found (5) x % percentage share (0.50) x Time adjustment (0.8). The payment amount for this title is $123.06.

  • If the illustrator has other titles registered with the program, we will add up those payments and send the illustrator one cheque for the total amount.

Maximum payment

The maximum payment for 2023–24 was $4,500.

A creator will receive one payment for the sum of all their title payments. The hit rate varies according to the number of registered titles and the amount of money in the program’s budget.

How are payments issued?

  • Payments are issued once per year.
  • Starting in 2024, payments will be made by electronic direct deposit in most cases.
  • Payments made to registrants outside Canada and to estates will be issued as cheques.
  • Cheques are issued in your name (we cannot issue cheques in your company name).
  • Cheques must be cashed within six (6) months.

Closing creator files

If we lose contact with you (undelivered mail, uncashed cheque or unclaimed payment) for two consecutive years, your file will be closed. When we reactivate a closed file, we use the original date of a title’s registration to determine the payment scale category.

Do I have to report the payments on my taxes?

  • PLR Payments must be reported as taxable income.
  • You will be issued a T4A form in the year following a payment of $500 or more.
  • Remember that the payment is for this year and the T4A is based on last year’s cheque. Amounts may differ.

Learn more about my PLR payment and income tax

Can I get retroactive payments?

No. Payments are issued from the year in which you register a title.

What if I disagree with how my payment was calculated?

If you think your payment was calculated incorrectly, you can contact the program and ask to have your file reassessed.

How long will I receive payments?

Payments are issued for a maximum of 25 years after the registration of a claim for an eligible title. The PLR Commission has established this limit out of fairness to new titles and creators.

More about the payment limit

How do I get my books into public libraries?

Each public library system has its own acquisition process. Many libraries make a special effort to include titles by local authors. Some libraries will accept donations; others have a policy that determines which titles to stock.