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Thursday, January 14, 2010

What do you want as an author?

After yesterday's Q4U about used books this comment from Aisley Crosse caught my attention:

I'm not entirely sure about the backend of book sales, but I do know that even if a royalty isn't paid for a used book, it still reaches another person. In fact, that person may appreciate that book more than the original buyer if it ended up in a second hand store. Some of my favourite books growing up were ones I didn't own. And now? I loved them so much, and still remember them. In fact, I've bought most of them, paid full price for a nice copy that I've read half a dozen times.

It comes down to what means more: money or the readers?

That is a tricky question. And very individual.

What do you want as an author?

Why are you writing that book?

Do you want fame? Money? Vindication? Fan grrlz?

Personally, I write (for the time being) for fun. I enjoy the process. I love my stories. I enjoy capturing them and pinning them to a page to enjoy at a later date.

At a later date I imagine I'll write for my fans. I love sharing my writing with my critique group and seeing them excited about the characters I love.

I guess that means, as an author, I wouldn't mind used book sales. If someone could only afford used books but loved my books enough to spend their hard earned money on, I'd enjoy their excitement as much as the person's who bought the book on pre-order.

Though, I suspect the pre-order will make my publisher happier. But that's why publishing is a business and writing is a hobby.

Now, you tell me, what do you want and why do you write?


  1. I'm certainly not writing to get rich, lol. Although it would be nice to make a living at it one day. I write because it's what I want to do and, like you, I love when people read something I wrote and enjoy the story, characters, etc.

    I have been guilty in the past of shopping at the used bookstore. Since I've gotten into writing seriously and realized the authors get nothing for that, I've stopped.

    However, I know that sometimes that's all a person can afford. So I think that if you have the money to comfortably by new copies, do that as a sign you support the author and want to make sure they get paid. If you can't do that, then buy your copies used. Maybe you can support the author in another way--like telling a friend if you liked the book, etc.

  2. I write because I like to. It makes me happy. (Most days). I really want to entertain. Sure, I'd love to make a bundle of money, too, but mostly I'd just like to have people enjoy my stories.

  3. Reading publishing blogs there is a lot of pressure to always buy new books. But I know several published authors who frequent the library. I don't think you should ever feel guilty about buying a used book, or borrowing a book from a friend/library.

    As a writer, I think you have to trust your readers too. If someone buys a used copy of your book and loves it, they are more likely to recomend it to friends or buy it to give someone as a gift. Sure you don't see direct royalites, but the more people reading your book the better - right.

  4. I want readers. Lots and lots of readers. Fortunately, I think more people will read my book if I get it published through an agent (and they have to pay for it) than if I self publish ('cause I'm no good at marketing and distribution). So, they kind of go hand-in-hand!