On the Yahoo! Canadian POD group, we recently discussed two programs of interest to Canadian publishers and authors. If you’re not Canadian, it’s very likely that your country has equivalent programs.
Public Lending Right Commission (PLR): As the site says, it “distributes annual payments to Canadian authors for the presence of their books in Canadian public libraries.” The program is free to join, so why not register? The process works on an annual cycle; there’s a single window of opportunity each year to sign up and add titles. This year it’s February 15th to May 1st. If you miss the window, you’ll have to wait another year. So if you’re a Canadian author, don’t delay. You can’t apply online. You have to send in a signed form, along with a photocopy of your book’s title page (and possibly other pages, depending on the book).
Access Copyright: This compensates publishers and authors whenever protected work is copied under an Access Copyright license. For example, if a teacher copies a chapter from your book to distribute to her class, you’ll be compensated through Access Copyright. As with PLR, it’s free to sign up. Unlike PLR, you can do so online and at any time. Note that Quebec has its own organization, so if you’re in Quebec, you’ll have to decide which organization is best for you.