I've read every book my friend Christine has written. I've bought them for friends and for my grandchildren as gifts. I buy her self-published books because this woman has an incredible depth of imagination, and because she often signs them for me. Another, more selfish reason, is that it helps the industry. Now, you may think I’m a little full of myself for thinking my pebble sized purchases are helping the Goliath publishing complex, but let me ask you this; do you buy books? How about your reading friends? If you have ten friends, family members or co-workers who each buy 20 books a year that’s 200 books. If each of those has ten friends and you multiply that out – well – you get the picture. But even if you don’t buy all the books you read, you are still helping.
Yup, I get many of my books from the library. I can’t afford to buy as many hard covers as I’d like, but I am totally addicted to reading. Most writers are. But don’t think that because you’re reading a lot of books from the library that you’re not helping writers. On the contrary, according to the
ALA, (American Library
Association), in 2009 publishers sold over 1.3 billion dollars worth of books
to public, school, college & university, and special libraries. These books
are acquired through your library’s collection development department and
welcomes input from their users. Go ahead and make regular inquiries about
books your library will be purchasing, putting in requests for your own
choices. I've put in requests for my own book (over there on the right) at dozens of libraries. When the librarian reads her book reviews chances are she’ll look for
the book you requested. The larger the library the more copies of single titles
purchased. And – bonus— when your own book is published that librarian will
remember you and perhaps ask you in for a reading. How cool is that?
I do this, too. My friends and I have a loosely formed book sharing group. One is able to regularly buy new hard covers (we love her), one has access to the high school library, and two of us regularly visit a very well stocked used book store. How does this help writers? Name recognition. Word of mouth is a powerful thing. So often a friend will give me a book by an author I've never read and if I like what I read, that author goes on the list and into my book purchasing budget.
Well, the list of new books I want to buy, of course. Nothing will stop me when I've made up my mind to buy a new book. I read reviews in my Sunday paper, confer with friends, and visit Amazon to read the reviews of strangers. And when the budget allows, I buy the book (to enjoy and then pass around). It’s essential for the people who love books to buy them. We, the readers, will keep we, the writers, in business. And never think we’re not important players in that arena.
E-Books, Self-published, POD or Traditional
Here’s my two cents (maybe four) on that. Yes, read them all! Stories are made up of words and words are presented to us in more formats than ever before. I have a friend who loves her new Kindle. She asks her adult children for e-books or puts them on her wish list at Amazon. For my last birthday I asked for an Amazon gift card so I could do the same. There are some out there who put their noses up and insist they’ll never read this way or that, but not me. I love good stories any way I can get them and perhaps you do, too. In any case, figure out ways to buy and read. If all writers do it, the industry and demand for our own work can only grow.
Image: Free Digital Photos