Monday, March 16, 2009

Save an author

I was thinking a few days ago as I was driving somewhere in the car. I had the radio on, and like every radio station right now, there was an intense conversation about what to do to save the economy. The pundits continued to scream about how we need to get money back into the hands of the people.

Now in this case, they were referring to Buy American programs and those that support issues for small businesses but in this case, my mind took a slight side trip and I started thinking about publishing. As we all know, the publishing business is not immune from the huge financial crisis out there and certainly the authors are feeling it.

And then I had it! The solution came out of the blue! No, it isn't anything amazing or ground breaking but something that I think we have forgotten over the course of the years.


Now, let me explain. There are a few things that frankly I think will boost the economy a bit and certainly show those publishers out there that your favorite writers (or you published writers) want to see more! Buy those books. If you have a choice between that e-book and regular book, go for the regular book. I know one is cheaper, but buy the other one. Not only does this put money back into the publisher's pocket, it also filters back to the author. In my case, I often buy both versions of the book. One I keep on my Sony Reader and one I keep on the shelf for when I want that "real book feel."

Oh, but don't stop there. If you have a book that you just read and love it so much you want to share it with someone, then buy them a copy. I know it is tempting to just give them yours, but remember, the author made no money on that transaction and this will hurt the author. When the publisher goes back to evaluate sales, they count the number of books sold, not the number of books "shared." The same goes for those "used books."

And writers, you are far from immune to this as well. I would encourage you to buy your own books at regular cost. I know you can get them at a reduced rate but if you are using these as promotional tools, there are other ways you can get that money back, or at least the difference between the "at cost books" and the "full price books". And you too are showing the publisher your book is selling.

Oh, and one more thing writers. Your families might love the books but quit letting Gramma Emma pass it on to Auntie June because you are family. Make it known to them that every book they BUY keeps you on good terms with the publisher.

And I should also note that I buy all of my author's books when they come out. It is my way of putting my 2 cents in.



  1. Business is business Scott. I like your two cents.

  2. As a new unpublished author, I like your post. I always buy my favorite authors releases, because in some small way I think I'm saying I support you and I want you to keep writing no matter you make my own efforts look palry or that you don't know me.

    I also buy authors I hope will teach me a thing or two no matter their genre.

    The problem...what to do with all these books. (1) use for warmth in the fireplace when we can't afford heating; (2) donate to the library and perpetuate the problem of folks not buying books; or possibly (3) keep rereading them into retirement.

    Another crazy thing I do is buy from different locations. Borders, K-Mart, the little bookseller on the corner, or even the grocery store in a time pinch.

    Tonight I gave another boost to the economy with the purchase of three books I bought online by Bronwyn Scott, one of your authors. They're used because I've been unable to find them in twenty-mile circumference within which I normally live. I think I just saw Harlequin's stock go up and UPS will benefit as well.

  3. Hey ‘Anonymous’, well said...but personally I think your message and, um, comments would have more credibility if you actually took ownership of the words that you write. It's easy to write the words that you want when you don't have to take any responsibility for them.
    And responsibility is what this post was about. Not for the 'general economy' but perhaps what a writer’s/author's interest in the publishing industry as a whole, should be.

    Bottom line? We’re all in this together. Business is business and anyone who wants the industry to succeed needs to realize this fundamental fact and start supporting it any way they can.

  4. I often use an anonymous URL. sometimes I admit is easier. i guess its not fair when you want to complain about something though.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Great advice. I bought books for all my family for Xmas. Cooking books, fiction, gift books. No better gift for a writer to give than someone else's great work!

  7. Murphy...for your info my name is Barb, but I sent if "Anonymous" because I'm not a blogger by nature and do not have a blogging identity...proud to be BW in Algonquin, IL

  8. Good thoughts on this one but it's unfortunate that some of the 'newbies' out there just don't get that this is a business.

    Murphy, 'well said' in your second comment. Especially the bit about responsibility.