Today I got my notification of Irish PLR. Many writers I know have been saying their PLR payments have been dropping, year on year. (PLR is money from public lending rights, paid on books borrowed from libraries.) Generally, my UK PLR rises, perhaps because I keep writing books at a healthy rate. I'm not sure whether the Irish is up or down, but I thought I'd do a little statistical analysis to see which books earn the most.
I write children's non-fiction (trade and schools and libraries), children's fiction, and adult non-fiction (trade and academic). Here's the breakdown:
Type of book % of my registered titles % of Irish PLR earnings
Adult non-fiction, trade 11 3
Adult non-fiction, academic 6 0
Children's non-fiction, S&L 58 19
Children's non-fiction, trade 11 23
Children's fiction 13 56
Conclusions? If you want to maximise your PLR, write children's fiction - more than half the PLR income came from around a ninth of my books. Children's trade non-fiction is much more profitable than schools and libraries titles, showing that children are more interested in reading for fun than doing their homework. Who's surprised? Not me.
(And another conclusion? I haven't registered all my books.... though I did exclude some that are so old I don't really count them. Still, the total is seriously lower than the number of books I've actually published, so something has gone wrong somewhere.)