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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Do I need to buy your book?

Yesterday someone in my writing group sent me a note that basically boiled down to, "Will you hate me if I don't buy your book?"

With their permission, I'm using the conversation that followed as blog fodder...

Here's the thing, every author wants you to buy the book they've written. It's how authors work. We write things down, edit like frantic marmots on meth, and then beg, plead, and cry until someone publishes our work. Then we set our hair on fire worrying if everyone will hate our work. What I'm saying here is: authors are lunatics. We really are.

And because authors are lunatics, we've set ourselves up with the expectation that no one will buy our beautiful book. Why? Because we know there are millions of wonderful books out there and readers only have time (and money) for a small percentage of those wonderful books.

In this instance, this person is a good friend from my writing group who doesn't like romance or e-books. She likes mysteries and hardcovers. I get it. EVEN VILLAINS FALL IN LOVE isn't a book she can buy and donate, it isn't a book she wants to read, it isn't a book she wants to recommend. I'm not going to hate someone for not loving my book.

I'm not going to be angry because someone I know doesn't buy my book.

If you know an author and can't buy or don't want to buy their book, but don't absolutely hate them, there are ways to support an author for free.

- Leave a Review - You may not know this, but Amazon doesn't recommend a book until it has twenty reviews. I imagine Barnes & Noble and Kobo have similar algorithms. This is even more important if you've read the book for free (library copy, loaned by a friend, ect), leave the author a review somewhere. It makes us happy.

- Tag The Book - Amazon has tags. Even if you haven't read (and don't feel it's honest to leave a review without reading) you can agree with the tags. That helps readers find the book.

- Give A Tweet - Unless you object to the book, recommend it to friends. Word of mouth us how a majority of books sell. If you don't have Twitter, mention the book on Face Book, tell someone at work, or casually drop the name. It's okay to name drop authors, if no one else knows who you're talking about, tell them the author is a fabulous up-and-coming writer you liked before they were cool. Go Hipster You!

- Be Nice To The Author - You'd think this would be a given, but it's not. I've seen more than one author snubbed because they were finally published. It doesn't matter who they are, they are still a person and you can be polite.

- Request The Book - If your library is like mine you can suggest books for the library to purchase. This now includes e-books. Both REAL LIES and SEVENTY are available in the Baker-Taylor catalog. Most books are in those catalogs, and libraries take patron requests seriously.

- Host a Blog Tour - If you happen to be a blogger and you know an author with a book coming out, promote it on the blog. It's free content! Who doesn't love that?

- List It On GoodReads - So this is slightly sneaky, but it makes authors happy anyway... List the book as To-Read on GoodReads even if you never plan on touching the book ever. I get giddy every time that little number goes up.

- Give The Author A Cookie - This might only work if you're my friend from my writing group and you happen to make these delightful little lemon cookies that are addictive. But, if you are, cookies! I like cookies! I'm easily bribed like that. If you can't bake, socks are an acceptable alternative.

Really, most the authors I know are chatty, happy people who just happen to spend half their life in an alternate universe. If you can't buy a book, don't stress it.

15 comments:

  1. I'll settle for the cookie. :)

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  2. What about cupcakes? Will you accept those too?

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    1. Cupcakes will be taken in place of cookies, especially the fancy ones. #yum

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  3. I know what you mean. Some of my own kids have not bought my book. So I linked your blog to mine, because I know when they get around to it, some of them read it. LOL!
    Cookies sound great, I'm parital to chocolate chips with lots of nuts in it.

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    1. We do a triple-chocolate chip cookie around our house. It's good for what ails ya.

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  4. Can the cookies be made sugar-free for those of us who are diabetics?

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    1. Um.... theoretically? Yes. In practice... golly, um, you should probably give my house a wide radius. Ten miles or more. I don't cook diabetic safe food.

      How do you feel about glitter? I can give you glitter!

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  5. Oooh, I'll have some cookies!

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  6. I honestly intend to buy your books. I get paid once a month and usually send in an order to Amazon once a month. However this month was support the local property tax thieves. Happens twice a year here. By the way I have connections with some Mexican witches that will cast curses pretty cheap. Just send me the names and what you would like to happen. You know hair fall out, house burn down, snake bit. Whatever you feel is appropriate punishment for not buying. I try to stay away from sugar but love retweets. By the way you might do a thing on how to Tag, leave a review, tag, give a tweet and list on Goodreads.. Some of us are challenged when it comes to these things. You got me blogging and tweeting. So I am sure you can do the others also.

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    1. Don't worry about it!

      It would be wonderful if I could buy all the books I want to, but it's not feasible. In turn, I'd love it if everyone I knew bought my book and left a review, but I don't expect them to. No worries. :o)

      And no witch curses either. Cleaning the caldron afterward is always a pain.

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  7. Great blog! Glad I saw it posted on Jessica Subject's twitter feed. You're funny, which makes me very happy. Will write for cookies. :))

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    1. I'm glad I made you smile.

      We need to get "Will write for cookies" on a t-shirt.

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  8. Hey, if they're not going to pay us (following on from your blog about not being paid for your book) cookies are better than nothing. :-P

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  9. Are the cookies lemon coolers? Because if you give me lemon coolers, no, you don't have to buy my (hypothetical) book.

    But it would be a lot cooler if you did. ;)

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