Hosted by For What It's Worth and Midnyte Reader, Book Blogger Confessions is a bi-weekly feature where bloggers confess all about blogging or bookish topics.
What do we owe authors? I read this interesting post the other day. An author had tweeted that if you get all your books from the library it deprives an author of income, another suggested using this fun little graphic to help readers spread the word about a book they love.
What are your thoughts on this? Do they have a point? Do they go too far in expecting readers to only buy their books at indie bookstores, avoid Amazon or expecting readers to go forth and publicize their book after a purchase?
If this wasn't a discussion post, I'd answer with one word - nothing. Expecting readers to only buy books through independent outlets is completely unrealistic, and some of us actually don't have any choice at all.
Where I live, there are very few booksellers who actually sell English language books, and the ones that do either don't sell the books I'm interested in (Karin Slaughter has made a mint selling books in train stations in this country, Sophie Kinsella gives her a run for her money though) or charge the same price for one book that I could use to get three from Amazon.
Yes, Amazon is the devil, tax cheats and bullies and all that shit, but if it wasn't for Amazon, I wouldn't be reading your books. And without Amazon, I wouldn't read a lot of independent authors, because I can't justify spending 18 Euros on a paperback that I may end up hating more than prawns (which I hate a lot, btw).
I did read all the articles, and what really annoyed me was that some authors seem to think libraries are doing them out of a living. Yeah, right. If someone is interested enough to take your book out from the library and read it, they're already doing something to promote that book - someone is carrying it around, talking about with their friends and perhaps even blogging about it. I've bought plenty of books based on reviews where the blogger/reviewer took the book out from the library. And if they hadn't, I probably wouldn't have either.
We're readers, we're not publicity machines. Yes, some of us blog about books, but not everyone is going to run around Tweeting links, liking posts and telling everyone at the bus stop about that fabulous book they just read. The book buyers are doing their bit, whether it's a brand new shiny hardcover at that posh bookshop (which scares me a little) or a paperback from discount website, and the readers are showing their love by buying books in second hand bookstores and taking them out from the library.
Yes, book sales are what keeps authors being able to write full-time, but we can't all buy brand new books all the time. What's better, someone reading your book and loving it even though it's borrowed from the library, or no one reading it?