To Toss or Not?

Barbuiragon From Loretta:
      Here is Barbie the Dragon Slayer.  What I like about this dragon–besides the fact that he matches Barbie, is that he has the goofy look of a man in love.  Oh, he’s trying to be macho, breathing fire and all, but love makes a guy stupid (at least, that’s what it does to my heroes), so to me, this is the perfect image, including Barbie, the conquering heroine.
      This is all I feel qualified to say about dragons at present, so, with thanks to Jo for the excellent Barbie/dragon combo, I shall move on to my actual real topic:  How to Throw Away a Book.
      First, everybody stop screaming.  The world will not come to an end if you put that paperback into the recycling bin.
      Second, let me explain.  It all started last month in the Romance Writers Report with an article about the sale of ARCs.  For the uninitiated, ARCs have nothing to do with Noah (that would be with a ‘K” anyway) or bits of circles.  ARC stands for Advance Reading Copy.  Or Advance Review Copy.  The publisher sends these out–for free–to reviewers and others well ahead of the publication date, to get advance publicity for our books.  Because it’s so far ahead of the publication date, this isn’t the version of the book that will hit the shops.  In most cases, it’s the uncorrected proofs.  Sometimes it’s a clean copy of the edited manuscript.  Whatever version of the book it is, though, it’s NOT FOR SALE, as is clearly stated on the cover.
      Here are two examples.  Miss_wonderful_arc One looks nothing like the final book and one looks very much like it.Nqal_arc
       Notice how it says NOT FOR SALE?  Kinda hard to miss that, huh?
      While selling them isn’t strictly illegal, it’s not exactly kosher.  It costs the publisher money to produce ARCs; they do it in hopes of publicity that will sell the final version.  When people sell ARCs, they dishonor the deal.  The author loses out on royalties and the publisher loses out on profits.  As you have heard from the Wenches on several occasions, sometimes a small number of books, or a relatively small number of dollars can make the difference between an author getting her publishing contract renewed…or not.Moneypiggy_bank
      This is what I try to keep in mind, too, when it comes to secondhand books, and it’s the reason I avoid buying secondhand unless the book is out of print.
      Which brings me to this month’s RWR and a letter from a reader in response to last month’s article on ARCs.  She worries about what happens to ARCs and used books if one doesn’t sell them.  What’s the alternative? she wants to know.  Throw it in the trash?  She feels that selling an ARC is a way of preserving something precious:  an early version of a work.  To her, throwing any book away is a terrible crime.  Furthermore, authors objecting to the sale of ARCs and used copies “are pushing the world to toss their work in the trash.”  And this, in her view, somehow equates to people thinking of romance as trash.
     No_sale  I’m not sure I follow the logic but then, I’m a word person, so I’m still stuck on the NOT FOR SALE thing there, at the top of the cover.  And I have to wonder if the people who sell what’s NOT FOR SALE are the kind of people who think rules are for other people, rather than the kind who feel a compelling need to preserve an inferior version of a book for posterity.
      In any case, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with throwing a book away–though, naturally, I’d prefer it go into the recycling bin rather than the garbage.  I say this even though I curse all those who threw away all those copies of some obscure and probably barely readable book from 1820 that I really need, and is now either nonexistent or else so rare that it might as well not exist, since it costs six point two bajillion dollars.
      I still think it’s OK to throw them away.  I’m not saying it’s easy.  It isn’t, for me.  But I can do it, and do, from time to time.  I simply haven’t room to keep all the books I read.  Sometimes they go into the recycling because I don’t want the author to lose out on used book sales.  Sometimes the book ends up in the garbage because something got spilled on it.  Coffeespilled Sometimes it’s because I thought it was garbage and that’s where it belonged.  And sometimes it’s a book I’ve outgrown.  More often than not, though, I bring the ones in good sh
ape to the library.  Here, too, there’s no profit for the author but at least the books are supposed to be getting into the hands of people who otherwise would not be able to read them.  The public library is a concept I believe in strongly, as I believe in the concept of public schools–making knowledge available to all.  But I still don’t see ARCs in that picture, anywhere.
      Time for you to weigh in, oh lovers of books. 
      Do you agree with any of the above or not?  Is it a sin to throw away a book, any book?

108 thoughts on “To Toss or Not?”

  1. Collectors collect. On a mass-market paperback, ARC’s are the only game in town. I think they are selling far more often to collectors than not. The Not For Sale cry is one music collectors have heard for ages. Yes, the record companies send out promos. Yes, they say not for sale. Yes, they are instantly sold. Sometimes they are different from the final release. Sometimes not. Do I collect promo cd’s? Yup. Do I consider the rules ‘not for me’? Not exactly. I support the musicians and I buy their products. I also collect promo copies. Not For Sale, barring the person getting the promo cd signing a binding contract, is a hope, not an agreement. It’s not illegal to sell them. It’s not even immoral. The record company passed them out and doesn’t require them back. If they were REALLY Not For Sale, the labels would either have contracts stating such or require their return so the record company could destroy them. Their sale would be challenged on ebay as copyright infringement. By their own actions, the music publishers have shown this doesn’t really matter to them.
    As to the used book stores. Once, trade value was the only way I could afford books. when I got older and employed, I bought new. The trend against used bookstores in the last five years disturbs me. It’s the mindset behind the RIAA crackdowns. Rather than explore ways to make the product more accessible in price or explore new ways of bringing the product to the consumer, the secondary market gets blamed. Frankly, when an author goes hardcover, I go to the library. I don’t buy the hardcover. I don’t buy the mass market. I’m a lost sale traded for a larger take upfront and a marketing angle. S’kul. It’s a job, like any other.
    I’m a lover of the sort of author that falls victim to that missed sale or two on the sales thresholds. So I do sympathize. But the belief that an author not purchased used becomes an author purchased new is a falsehood. A book recycled is a book unread. A book unread is a lost opportunity to capture another reader. I could cite several authors who friends or family didn’t read and whom they now purchase new because I gave them used copies.
    The belief that had these used copies not been read by five women then five women would have purchased them new is false. One woman would be buying them instead of three. Sure, two are still freeloading – they don’t feel compelled to get the author’s work. Probably never will. I would never have purchased The Smoke Thief. Never. didn’t look like my cuppa. Someone gave it to me. Now I’ll purchase her next book.
    The idea that one should first consider the author’s payment is utopian. Does that mean a struggling author is more worthy of purchase than a successful one? Why authors? There’s no where else that a choice to purchase a product, get a product used, or not have a product is given moral weight. Should I wear Prada? New? Vintage? Rented? Borrowed? Knockoff? How about dinner? That new place or the place that wowed me last time? Which one is correct? What if I eat leftovers from my roommates meal?
    I sympathize, wordy as my reply is, I do. But I think it’s an alienating windmill to tilt at.

    Reply
  2. Collectors collect. On a mass-market paperback, ARC’s are the only game in town. I think they are selling far more often to collectors than not. The Not For Sale cry is one music collectors have heard for ages. Yes, the record companies send out promos. Yes, they say not for sale. Yes, they are instantly sold. Sometimes they are different from the final release. Sometimes not. Do I collect promo cd’s? Yup. Do I consider the rules ‘not for me’? Not exactly. I support the musicians and I buy their products. I also collect promo copies. Not For Sale, barring the person getting the promo cd signing a binding contract, is a hope, not an agreement. It’s not illegal to sell them. It’s not even immoral. The record company passed them out and doesn’t require them back. If they were REALLY Not For Sale, the labels would either have contracts stating such or require their return so the record company could destroy them. Their sale would be challenged on ebay as copyright infringement. By their own actions, the music publishers have shown this doesn’t really matter to them.
    As to the used book stores. Once, trade value was the only way I could afford books. when I got older and employed, I bought new. The trend against used bookstores in the last five years disturbs me. It’s the mindset behind the RIAA crackdowns. Rather than explore ways to make the product more accessible in price or explore new ways of bringing the product to the consumer, the secondary market gets blamed. Frankly, when an author goes hardcover, I go to the library. I don’t buy the hardcover. I don’t buy the mass market. I’m a lost sale traded for a larger take upfront and a marketing angle. S’kul. It’s a job, like any other.
    I’m a lover of the sort of author that falls victim to that missed sale or two on the sales thresholds. So I do sympathize. But the belief that an author not purchased used becomes an author purchased new is a falsehood. A book recycled is a book unread. A book unread is a lost opportunity to capture another reader. I could cite several authors who friends or family didn’t read and whom they now purchase new because I gave them used copies.
    The belief that had these used copies not been read by five women then five women would have purchased them new is false. One woman would be buying them instead of three. Sure, two are still freeloading – they don’t feel compelled to get the author’s work. Probably never will. I would never have purchased The Smoke Thief. Never. didn’t look like my cuppa. Someone gave it to me. Now I’ll purchase her next book.
    The idea that one should first consider the author’s payment is utopian. Does that mean a struggling author is more worthy of purchase than a successful one? Why authors? There’s no where else that a choice to purchase a product, get a product used, or not have a product is given moral weight. Should I wear Prada? New? Vintage? Rented? Borrowed? Knockoff? How about dinner? That new place or the place that wowed me last time? Which one is correct? What if I eat leftovers from my roommates meal?
    I sympathize, wordy as my reply is, I do. But I think it’s an alienating windmill to tilt at.

    Reply
  3. Collectors collect. On a mass-market paperback, ARC’s are the only game in town. I think they are selling far more often to collectors than not. The Not For Sale cry is one music collectors have heard for ages. Yes, the record companies send out promos. Yes, they say not for sale. Yes, they are instantly sold. Sometimes they are different from the final release. Sometimes not. Do I collect promo cd’s? Yup. Do I consider the rules ‘not for me’? Not exactly. I support the musicians and I buy their products. I also collect promo copies. Not For Sale, barring the person getting the promo cd signing a binding contract, is a hope, not an agreement. It’s not illegal to sell them. It’s not even immoral. The record company passed them out and doesn’t require them back. If they were REALLY Not For Sale, the labels would either have contracts stating such or require their return so the record company could destroy them. Their sale would be challenged on ebay as copyright infringement. By their own actions, the music publishers have shown this doesn’t really matter to them.
    As to the used book stores. Once, trade value was the only way I could afford books. when I got older and employed, I bought new. The trend against used bookstores in the last five years disturbs me. It’s the mindset behind the RIAA crackdowns. Rather than explore ways to make the product more accessible in price or explore new ways of bringing the product to the consumer, the secondary market gets blamed. Frankly, when an author goes hardcover, I go to the library. I don’t buy the hardcover. I don’t buy the mass market. I’m a lost sale traded for a larger take upfront and a marketing angle. S’kul. It’s a job, like any other.
    I’m a lover of the sort of author that falls victim to that missed sale or two on the sales thresholds. So I do sympathize. But the belief that an author not purchased used becomes an author purchased new is a falsehood. A book recycled is a book unread. A book unread is a lost opportunity to capture another reader. I could cite several authors who friends or family didn’t read and whom they now purchase new because I gave them used copies.
    The belief that had these used copies not been read by five women then five women would have purchased them new is false. One woman would be buying them instead of three. Sure, two are still freeloading – they don’t feel compelled to get the author’s work. Probably never will. I would never have purchased The Smoke Thief. Never. didn’t look like my cuppa. Someone gave it to me. Now I’ll purchase her next book.
    The idea that one should first consider the author’s payment is utopian. Does that mean a struggling author is more worthy of purchase than a successful one? Why authors? There’s no where else that a choice to purchase a product, get a product used, or not have a product is given moral weight. Should I wear Prada? New? Vintage? Rented? Borrowed? Knockoff? How about dinner? That new place or the place that wowed me last time? Which one is correct? What if I eat leftovers from my roommates meal?
    I sympathize, wordy as my reply is, I do. But I think it’s an alienating windmill to tilt at.

    Reply
  4. Collectors collect. On a mass-market paperback, ARC’s are the only game in town. I think they are selling far more often to collectors than not. The Not For Sale cry is one music collectors have heard for ages. Yes, the record companies send out promos. Yes, they say not for sale. Yes, they are instantly sold. Sometimes they are different from the final release. Sometimes not. Do I collect promo cd’s? Yup. Do I consider the rules ‘not for me’? Not exactly. I support the musicians and I buy their products. I also collect promo copies. Not For Sale, barring the person getting the promo cd signing a binding contract, is a hope, not an agreement. It’s not illegal to sell them. It’s not even immoral. The record company passed them out and doesn’t require them back. If they were REALLY Not For Sale, the labels would either have contracts stating such or require their return so the record company could destroy them. Their sale would be challenged on ebay as copyright infringement. By their own actions, the music publishers have shown this doesn’t really matter to them.
    As to the used book stores. Once, trade value was the only way I could afford books. when I got older and employed, I bought new. The trend against used bookstores in the last five years disturbs me. It’s the mindset behind the RIAA crackdowns. Rather than explore ways to make the product more accessible in price or explore new ways of bringing the product to the consumer, the secondary market gets blamed. Frankly, when an author goes hardcover, I go to the library. I don’t buy the hardcover. I don’t buy the mass market. I’m a lost sale traded for a larger take upfront and a marketing angle. S’kul. It’s a job, like any other.
    I’m a lover of the sort of author that falls victim to that missed sale or two on the sales thresholds. So I do sympathize. But the belief that an author not purchased used becomes an author purchased new is a falsehood. A book recycled is a book unread. A book unread is a lost opportunity to capture another reader. I could cite several authors who friends or family didn’t read and whom they now purchase new because I gave them used copies.
    The belief that had these used copies not been read by five women then five women would have purchased them new is false. One woman would be buying them instead of three. Sure, two are still freeloading – they don’t feel compelled to get the author’s work. Probably never will. I would never have purchased The Smoke Thief. Never. didn’t look like my cuppa. Someone gave it to me. Now I’ll purchase her next book.
    The idea that one should first consider the author’s payment is utopian. Does that mean a struggling author is more worthy of purchase than a successful one? Why authors? There’s no where else that a choice to purchase a product, get a product used, or not have a product is given moral weight. Should I wear Prada? New? Vintage? Rented? Borrowed? Knockoff? How about dinner? That new place or the place that wowed me last time? Which one is correct? What if I eat leftovers from my roommates meal?
    I sympathize, wordy as my reply is, I do. But I think it’s an alienating windmill to tilt at.

    Reply
  5. It’s not a sin to throw out a book but I doubt fear of sinning is why people sell ARCs.
    There are better alternatives to pitching an ARC. Why not donate it to a hospital, library or organization that sends books to the armed forces?
    That way the ARC is less likely to compete with the regular release and might be read by someone not previously familiar with the author’s work. Which is a good thing.

    Reply
  6. It’s not a sin to throw out a book but I doubt fear of sinning is why people sell ARCs.
    There are better alternatives to pitching an ARC. Why not donate it to a hospital, library or organization that sends books to the armed forces?
    That way the ARC is less likely to compete with the regular release and might be read by someone not previously familiar with the author’s work. Which is a good thing.

    Reply
  7. It’s not a sin to throw out a book but I doubt fear of sinning is why people sell ARCs.
    There are better alternatives to pitching an ARC. Why not donate it to a hospital, library or organization that sends books to the armed forces?
    That way the ARC is less likely to compete with the regular release and might be read by someone not previously familiar with the author’s work. Which is a good thing.

    Reply
  8. It’s not a sin to throw out a book but I doubt fear of sinning is why people sell ARCs.
    There are better alternatives to pitching an ARC. Why not donate it to a hospital, library or organization that sends books to the armed forces?
    That way the ARC is less likely to compete with the regular release and might be read by someone not previously familiar with the author’s work. Which is a good thing.

    Reply
  9. Another person more familiar with the music industry than the book industry here. Have to say I agree with Liz. Lovely as it would be for us all to buy new books all the time, and profitable as it would be for authors and publishing companies, its just not practical if you’re an avid reader. I can’t afford to buy a book a day – and I certainly don’t have the space to store them. Finding secondhand books is a wonderful thing. Sharing books with other people is wonderful too. The library is the best place on earth (and authors do get some money from lending in the UK). To discourage these seems wasteful and mean.
    Sorry Loretta. I do love your books and bought THE LOT on the strength of finding Lord of Scoundrels at my local library. I could only get the out of print books secondhand at Abe. You can’t have the out of print books available secondhand without the rest of the market too, and that includes promos.
    My advice is to keep writing new books (please!) – promos are only a tiny part of the market. Most people wouldn’t touch them with a bargepole because they’re not “finished”. I do buy some new books because I want them new or fast. Not Quite A Lady is already on pre-order!

    Reply
  10. Another person more familiar with the music industry than the book industry here. Have to say I agree with Liz. Lovely as it would be for us all to buy new books all the time, and profitable as it would be for authors and publishing companies, its just not practical if you’re an avid reader. I can’t afford to buy a book a day – and I certainly don’t have the space to store them. Finding secondhand books is a wonderful thing. Sharing books with other people is wonderful too. The library is the best place on earth (and authors do get some money from lending in the UK). To discourage these seems wasteful and mean.
    Sorry Loretta. I do love your books and bought THE LOT on the strength of finding Lord of Scoundrels at my local library. I could only get the out of print books secondhand at Abe. You can’t have the out of print books available secondhand without the rest of the market too, and that includes promos.
    My advice is to keep writing new books (please!) – promos are only a tiny part of the market. Most people wouldn’t touch them with a bargepole because they’re not “finished”. I do buy some new books because I want them new or fast. Not Quite A Lady is already on pre-order!

    Reply
  11. Another person more familiar with the music industry than the book industry here. Have to say I agree with Liz. Lovely as it would be for us all to buy new books all the time, and profitable as it would be for authors and publishing companies, its just not practical if you’re an avid reader. I can’t afford to buy a book a day – and I certainly don’t have the space to store them. Finding secondhand books is a wonderful thing. Sharing books with other people is wonderful too. The library is the best place on earth (and authors do get some money from lending in the UK). To discourage these seems wasteful and mean.
    Sorry Loretta. I do love your books and bought THE LOT on the strength of finding Lord of Scoundrels at my local library. I could only get the out of print books secondhand at Abe. You can’t have the out of print books available secondhand without the rest of the market too, and that includes promos.
    My advice is to keep writing new books (please!) – promos are only a tiny part of the market. Most people wouldn’t touch them with a bargepole because they’re not “finished”. I do buy some new books because I want them new or fast. Not Quite A Lady is already on pre-order!

    Reply
  12. Another person more familiar with the music industry than the book industry here. Have to say I agree with Liz. Lovely as it would be for us all to buy new books all the time, and profitable as it would be for authors and publishing companies, its just not practical if you’re an avid reader. I can’t afford to buy a book a day – and I certainly don’t have the space to store them. Finding secondhand books is a wonderful thing. Sharing books with other people is wonderful too. The library is the best place on earth (and authors do get some money from lending in the UK). To discourage these seems wasteful and mean.
    Sorry Loretta. I do love your books and bought THE LOT on the strength of finding Lord of Scoundrels at my local library. I could only get the out of print books secondhand at Abe. You can’t have the out of print books available secondhand without the rest of the market too, and that includes promos.
    My advice is to keep writing new books (please!) – promos are only a tiny part of the market. Most people wouldn’t touch them with a bargepole because they’re not “finished”. I do buy some new books because I want them new or fast. Not Quite A Lady is already on pre-order!

    Reply
  13. I actually posted about tossing books on my blog in January, since I work in a high school library and we do a massive purge every year. I fully comprehend that you need current reference material to support the curriculum, but I winced every time I stuck a book in a box destined for the dumpster. I’ve liberated some I think might be useful for research (or just plain pretty…old books sometimes have such lovely covers and marbled pages).
    I too was raised to never throw a book away, so usually I give my paperbacks to friends or the public library. There are always organizations that take used books. We sent tons to New Orleans after Katrina, and I imagine there are many schools and library collections still in need.
    I’ve never been the lucky recipient of an arc, but I feel selling them is wrong. I usually follow the written directions!

    Reply
  14. I actually posted about tossing books on my blog in January, since I work in a high school library and we do a massive purge every year. I fully comprehend that you need current reference material to support the curriculum, but I winced every time I stuck a book in a box destined for the dumpster. I’ve liberated some I think might be useful for research (or just plain pretty…old books sometimes have such lovely covers and marbled pages).
    I too was raised to never throw a book away, so usually I give my paperbacks to friends or the public library. There are always organizations that take used books. We sent tons to New Orleans after Katrina, and I imagine there are many schools and library collections still in need.
    I’ve never been the lucky recipient of an arc, but I feel selling them is wrong. I usually follow the written directions!

    Reply
  15. I actually posted about tossing books on my blog in January, since I work in a high school library and we do a massive purge every year. I fully comprehend that you need current reference material to support the curriculum, but I winced every time I stuck a book in a box destined for the dumpster. I’ve liberated some I think might be useful for research (or just plain pretty…old books sometimes have such lovely covers and marbled pages).
    I too was raised to never throw a book away, so usually I give my paperbacks to friends or the public library. There are always organizations that take used books. We sent tons to New Orleans after Katrina, and I imagine there are many schools and library collections still in need.
    I’ve never been the lucky recipient of an arc, but I feel selling them is wrong. I usually follow the written directions!

    Reply
  16. I actually posted about tossing books on my blog in January, since I work in a high school library and we do a massive purge every year. I fully comprehend that you need current reference material to support the curriculum, but I winced every time I stuck a book in a box destined for the dumpster. I’ve liberated some I think might be useful for research (or just plain pretty…old books sometimes have such lovely covers and marbled pages).
    I too was raised to never throw a book away, so usually I give my paperbacks to friends or the public library. There are always organizations that take used books. We sent tons to New Orleans after Katrina, and I imagine there are many schools and library collections still in need.
    I’ve never been the lucky recipient of an arc, but I feel selling them is wrong. I usually follow the written directions!

    Reply
  17. In the old days, secondhand books were sold mainly through Mom & Pop type stores. We have several in my area, which my sister & I frequent. In her case, publishers simply don’t put out enough books to keep up with her reading needs! And books do get passed around through the family. These types of secondhand sales and sharing do serve the many positive purposes readers have cited above, and had not until recently had any significant impact on sales of new books. The reason people are hearing a lot more complaining these days about the sale of ARCs and used books is the change in the business with the advent of e-sales–which, BTW, are putting a lot of these mom & pop operations out of business. The volume has increased significantly. Check out Amazon the day after a new romance comes out. Look over at the Buy Used box. We could blame publishers for high prices, but how can they produce a book for .99? Or $2. Yes, perhaps one is tilting at windmills on the used book question–and one also runs the risk of appearing vindictive or wishing to eliminate this business when that is by no means the case. It’s a problem, though. It does impact sales. No one has a good solution so far. So I look at it the way I do environmental awareness. All I can do is what seems the best route, given my circumstances and my sympathies: I don’t tell my sister not to buy used books, and I don’t think it matters much if the book’s been out for several months, since by then it’s had a chance to find its audience. But I avoid buying used unless the book is out of print, and I won’t buy or sell an ARC. And I still think it’s OK to put the book in the recycling bin.

    Reply
  18. In the old days, secondhand books were sold mainly through Mom & Pop type stores. We have several in my area, which my sister & I frequent. In her case, publishers simply don’t put out enough books to keep up with her reading needs! And books do get passed around through the family. These types of secondhand sales and sharing do serve the many positive purposes readers have cited above, and had not until recently had any significant impact on sales of new books. The reason people are hearing a lot more complaining these days about the sale of ARCs and used books is the change in the business with the advent of e-sales–which, BTW, are putting a lot of these mom & pop operations out of business. The volume has increased significantly. Check out Amazon the day after a new romance comes out. Look over at the Buy Used box. We could blame publishers for high prices, but how can they produce a book for .99? Or $2. Yes, perhaps one is tilting at windmills on the used book question–and one also runs the risk of appearing vindictive or wishing to eliminate this business when that is by no means the case. It’s a problem, though. It does impact sales. No one has a good solution so far. So I look at it the way I do environmental awareness. All I can do is what seems the best route, given my circumstances and my sympathies: I don’t tell my sister not to buy used books, and I don’t think it matters much if the book’s been out for several months, since by then it’s had a chance to find its audience. But I avoid buying used unless the book is out of print, and I won’t buy or sell an ARC. And I still think it’s OK to put the book in the recycling bin.

    Reply
  19. In the old days, secondhand books were sold mainly through Mom & Pop type stores. We have several in my area, which my sister & I frequent. In her case, publishers simply don’t put out enough books to keep up with her reading needs! And books do get passed around through the family. These types of secondhand sales and sharing do serve the many positive purposes readers have cited above, and had not until recently had any significant impact on sales of new books. The reason people are hearing a lot more complaining these days about the sale of ARCs and used books is the change in the business with the advent of e-sales–which, BTW, are putting a lot of these mom & pop operations out of business. The volume has increased significantly. Check out Amazon the day after a new romance comes out. Look over at the Buy Used box. We could blame publishers for high prices, but how can they produce a book for .99? Or $2. Yes, perhaps one is tilting at windmills on the used book question–and one also runs the risk of appearing vindictive or wishing to eliminate this business when that is by no means the case. It’s a problem, though. It does impact sales. No one has a good solution so far. So I look at it the way I do environmental awareness. All I can do is what seems the best route, given my circumstances and my sympathies: I don’t tell my sister not to buy used books, and I don’t think it matters much if the book’s been out for several months, since by then it’s had a chance to find its audience. But I avoid buying used unless the book is out of print, and I won’t buy or sell an ARC. And I still think it’s OK to put the book in the recycling bin.

    Reply
  20. In the old days, secondhand books were sold mainly through Mom & Pop type stores. We have several in my area, which my sister & I frequent. In her case, publishers simply don’t put out enough books to keep up with her reading needs! And books do get passed around through the family. These types of secondhand sales and sharing do serve the many positive purposes readers have cited above, and had not until recently had any significant impact on sales of new books. The reason people are hearing a lot more complaining these days about the sale of ARCs and used books is the change in the business with the advent of e-sales–which, BTW, are putting a lot of these mom & pop operations out of business. The volume has increased significantly. Check out Amazon the day after a new romance comes out. Look over at the Buy Used box. We could blame publishers for high prices, but how can they produce a book for .99? Or $2. Yes, perhaps one is tilting at windmills on the used book question–and one also runs the risk of appearing vindictive or wishing to eliminate this business when that is by no means the case. It’s a problem, though. It does impact sales. No one has a good solution so far. So I look at it the way I do environmental awareness. All I can do is what seems the best route, given my circumstances and my sympathies: I don’t tell my sister not to buy used books, and I don’t think it matters much if the book’s been out for several months, since by then it’s had a chance to find its audience. But I avoid buying used unless the book is out of print, and I won’t buy or sell an ARC. And I still think it’s OK to put the book in the recycling bin.

    Reply
  21. I’m a librarian, too. And librarians learn to be just as good at throwing away books as we are at keeping them. Not just in the name of collection maintenance, but because people bring *us* all those books they just can’t bear to pitch. Guess what we do? We pitch them for you. 🙂
    J/K – not always. Libraries love donations, and we do get great books that way. But in general, if it’s not something you could sell at a garage sale, the library’s not going to want it either. Those old, musty college textbooks from 19XX, that National Geographic collection you so faithfully saved for decades – they go in the trash. And libraries wouldn’t add ARCs to their circulating collections.
    That said,I hope some librarian somewhere IS collecting ARCs for preservation purposes. Genre fiction is of great interest to researchers. Collecting ARCs not only preserves one phase of the publishing process, but the ARCs themselves are often printed on superior quality paper and with a sturdier binding. An ARC will hold up decades longer than the mass market paperback, I would guess. I wonder if this might be one reason people try to purchase them?
    And I hope all the Wenches are saving their own ARCs, drafts, correspondence, notes, etc. to be housed in a library someday!

    Reply
  22. I’m a librarian, too. And librarians learn to be just as good at throwing away books as we are at keeping them. Not just in the name of collection maintenance, but because people bring *us* all those books they just can’t bear to pitch. Guess what we do? We pitch them for you. 🙂
    J/K – not always. Libraries love donations, and we do get great books that way. But in general, if it’s not something you could sell at a garage sale, the library’s not going to want it either. Those old, musty college textbooks from 19XX, that National Geographic collection you so faithfully saved for decades – they go in the trash. And libraries wouldn’t add ARCs to their circulating collections.
    That said,I hope some librarian somewhere IS collecting ARCs for preservation purposes. Genre fiction is of great interest to researchers. Collecting ARCs not only preserves one phase of the publishing process, but the ARCs themselves are often printed on superior quality paper and with a sturdier binding. An ARC will hold up decades longer than the mass market paperback, I would guess. I wonder if this might be one reason people try to purchase them?
    And I hope all the Wenches are saving their own ARCs, drafts, correspondence, notes, etc. to be housed in a library someday!

    Reply
  23. I’m a librarian, too. And librarians learn to be just as good at throwing away books as we are at keeping them. Not just in the name of collection maintenance, but because people bring *us* all those books they just can’t bear to pitch. Guess what we do? We pitch them for you. 🙂
    J/K – not always. Libraries love donations, and we do get great books that way. But in general, if it’s not something you could sell at a garage sale, the library’s not going to want it either. Those old, musty college textbooks from 19XX, that National Geographic collection you so faithfully saved for decades – they go in the trash. And libraries wouldn’t add ARCs to their circulating collections.
    That said,I hope some librarian somewhere IS collecting ARCs for preservation purposes. Genre fiction is of great interest to researchers. Collecting ARCs not only preserves one phase of the publishing process, but the ARCs themselves are often printed on superior quality paper and with a sturdier binding. An ARC will hold up decades longer than the mass market paperback, I would guess. I wonder if this might be one reason people try to purchase them?
    And I hope all the Wenches are saving their own ARCs, drafts, correspondence, notes, etc. to be housed in a library someday!

    Reply
  24. I’m a librarian, too. And librarians learn to be just as good at throwing away books as we are at keeping them. Not just in the name of collection maintenance, but because people bring *us* all those books they just can’t bear to pitch. Guess what we do? We pitch them for you. 🙂
    J/K – not always. Libraries love donations, and we do get great books that way. But in general, if it’s not something you could sell at a garage sale, the library’s not going to want it either. Those old, musty college textbooks from 19XX, that National Geographic collection you so faithfully saved for decades – they go in the trash. And libraries wouldn’t add ARCs to their circulating collections.
    That said,I hope some librarian somewhere IS collecting ARCs for preservation purposes. Genre fiction is of great interest to researchers. Collecting ARCs not only preserves one phase of the publishing process, but the ARCs themselves are often printed on superior quality paper and with a sturdier binding. An ARC will hold up decades longer than the mass market paperback, I would guess. I wonder if this might be one reason people try to purchase them?
    And I hope all the Wenches are saving their own ARCs, drafts, correspondence, notes, etc. to be housed in a library someday!

    Reply
  25. I was hoping to hear from the librarians, because I know the libraries end up doing our pitching for us. That’s another reason I dump some things, and save the books in good condition for the library. I also wished I’d pointed out–but then, this is such a big topic, it’s hard to cover in one blog–that no sane author wants to stop the sale of used books. Somehow, though, the argument always ends up as this Either-Or. In the best of all possible worlds, there would be a mechanism by which authors got some kind of credit or small royalty (and we’re talking really small, here, as royalties are not large to begin with–like a few cents)–and this mainly to show the publisher that the investment in us is worthwhile. Unfortunately, when we complain about used book sales, we come off sounding greedy and mean–when really, we authors are not greedier or meaner than normal people. *g*

    Reply
  26. I was hoping to hear from the librarians, because I know the libraries end up doing our pitching for us. That’s another reason I dump some things, and save the books in good condition for the library. I also wished I’d pointed out–but then, this is such a big topic, it’s hard to cover in one blog–that no sane author wants to stop the sale of used books. Somehow, though, the argument always ends up as this Either-Or. In the best of all possible worlds, there would be a mechanism by which authors got some kind of credit or small royalty (and we’re talking really small, here, as royalties are not large to begin with–like a few cents)–and this mainly to show the publisher that the investment in us is worthwhile. Unfortunately, when we complain about used book sales, we come off sounding greedy and mean–when really, we authors are not greedier or meaner than normal people. *g*

    Reply
  27. I was hoping to hear from the librarians, because I know the libraries end up doing our pitching for us. That’s another reason I dump some things, and save the books in good condition for the library. I also wished I’d pointed out–but then, this is such a big topic, it’s hard to cover in one blog–that no sane author wants to stop the sale of used books. Somehow, though, the argument always ends up as this Either-Or. In the best of all possible worlds, there would be a mechanism by which authors got some kind of credit or small royalty (and we’re talking really small, here, as royalties are not large to begin with–like a few cents)–and this mainly to show the publisher that the investment in us is worthwhile. Unfortunately, when we complain about used book sales, we come off sounding greedy and mean–when really, we authors are not greedier or meaner than normal people. *g*

    Reply
  28. I was hoping to hear from the librarians, because I know the libraries end up doing our pitching for us. That’s another reason I dump some things, and save the books in good condition for the library. I also wished I’d pointed out–but then, this is such a big topic, it’s hard to cover in one blog–that no sane author wants to stop the sale of used books. Somehow, though, the argument always ends up as this Either-Or. In the best of all possible worlds, there would be a mechanism by which authors got some kind of credit or small royalty (and we’re talking really small, here, as royalties are not large to begin with–like a few cents)–and this mainly to show the publisher that the investment in us is worthwhile. Unfortunately, when we complain about used book sales, we come off sounding greedy and mean–when really, we authors are not greedier or meaner than normal people. *g*

    Reply
  29. I confess I find it *extremely* hard to throw a book away, even if it’s in such poor condition that I know the library or thrift store would throw it away if I donated it to them. If it’s at all borderline I’ll include it with my next batch of library donations and let THEM make the call. (The vast majority of what I give them is in great condition, and I regularly see my donations on the paperback rack at my branch.)
    Logically, I suppose throwing out a damaged or unwanted book isn’t any different than discarding worn-out clothes or magazines I’ve finished reading–but it FEELS different. Throwing away a book seems almost blasphemous, somehow.
    That said, I rarely sell my used books–unless they’re out-of-print and valuable enough to be worth the hassle of listing on ebay and shipping out, I just give anything I don’t want to the library. I do my best never to buy a book that’s currently in print used (sometimes I’ll see an older edition of a book at a UBS and buy it, not realizing it’s been re-released), and I hate that Amazon makes it so easy to buy recently released books used.

    Reply
  30. I confess I find it *extremely* hard to throw a book away, even if it’s in such poor condition that I know the library or thrift store would throw it away if I donated it to them. If it’s at all borderline I’ll include it with my next batch of library donations and let THEM make the call. (The vast majority of what I give them is in great condition, and I regularly see my donations on the paperback rack at my branch.)
    Logically, I suppose throwing out a damaged or unwanted book isn’t any different than discarding worn-out clothes or magazines I’ve finished reading–but it FEELS different. Throwing away a book seems almost blasphemous, somehow.
    That said, I rarely sell my used books–unless they’re out-of-print and valuable enough to be worth the hassle of listing on ebay and shipping out, I just give anything I don’t want to the library. I do my best never to buy a book that’s currently in print used (sometimes I’ll see an older edition of a book at a UBS and buy it, not realizing it’s been re-released), and I hate that Amazon makes it so easy to buy recently released books used.

    Reply
  31. I confess I find it *extremely* hard to throw a book away, even if it’s in such poor condition that I know the library or thrift store would throw it away if I donated it to them. If it’s at all borderline I’ll include it with my next batch of library donations and let THEM make the call. (The vast majority of what I give them is in great condition, and I regularly see my donations on the paperback rack at my branch.)
    Logically, I suppose throwing out a damaged or unwanted book isn’t any different than discarding worn-out clothes or magazines I’ve finished reading–but it FEELS different. Throwing away a book seems almost blasphemous, somehow.
    That said, I rarely sell my used books–unless they’re out-of-print and valuable enough to be worth the hassle of listing on ebay and shipping out, I just give anything I don’t want to the library. I do my best never to buy a book that’s currently in print used (sometimes I’ll see an older edition of a book at a UBS and buy it, not realizing it’s been re-released), and I hate that Amazon makes it so easy to buy recently released books used.

    Reply
  32. I confess I find it *extremely* hard to throw a book away, even if it’s in such poor condition that I know the library or thrift store would throw it away if I donated it to them. If it’s at all borderline I’ll include it with my next batch of library donations and let THEM make the call. (The vast majority of what I give them is in great condition, and I regularly see my donations on the paperback rack at my branch.)
    Logically, I suppose throwing out a damaged or unwanted book isn’t any different than discarding worn-out clothes or magazines I’ve finished reading–but it FEELS different. Throwing away a book seems almost blasphemous, somehow.
    That said, I rarely sell my used books–unless they’re out-of-print and valuable enough to be worth the hassle of listing on ebay and shipping out, I just give anything I don’t want to the library. I do my best never to buy a book that’s currently in print used (sometimes I’ll see an older edition of a book at a UBS and buy it, not realizing it’s been re-released), and I hate that Amazon makes it so easy to buy recently released books used.

    Reply
  33. As an author, I’m of course greatly in favor of people buying their books new, but as an avid reader (8-12 books a week, though I don’t necessarily finish them all) I simply can’t afford to pay full cover price for every book I’m curious about. A lot of genre fiction, in particular, is NOT available through my library system, so my choices are 1) to miss out on the book entirely or 2) to risk the used book price and hope to discover a new wonderful writer. My first encounters with some of my favorite authors have been via used book, and once you get onto that elite list, I’ll pay for your hardcovers gladly.
    Basically I think it’s a case of “what you lose on the swings you gain on the roundabouts,” or, in the alternative, “whaddaya gonna do?” These things have a life of their own, upon which I suspect discourse has no effect whatsoever. At least people are reading!

    Reply
  34. As an author, I’m of course greatly in favor of people buying their books new, but as an avid reader (8-12 books a week, though I don’t necessarily finish them all) I simply can’t afford to pay full cover price for every book I’m curious about. A lot of genre fiction, in particular, is NOT available through my library system, so my choices are 1) to miss out on the book entirely or 2) to risk the used book price and hope to discover a new wonderful writer. My first encounters with some of my favorite authors have been via used book, and once you get onto that elite list, I’ll pay for your hardcovers gladly.
    Basically I think it’s a case of “what you lose on the swings you gain on the roundabouts,” or, in the alternative, “whaddaya gonna do?” These things have a life of their own, upon which I suspect discourse has no effect whatsoever. At least people are reading!

    Reply
  35. As an author, I’m of course greatly in favor of people buying their books new, but as an avid reader (8-12 books a week, though I don’t necessarily finish them all) I simply can’t afford to pay full cover price for every book I’m curious about. A lot of genre fiction, in particular, is NOT available through my library system, so my choices are 1) to miss out on the book entirely or 2) to risk the used book price and hope to discover a new wonderful writer. My first encounters with some of my favorite authors have been via used book, and once you get onto that elite list, I’ll pay for your hardcovers gladly.
    Basically I think it’s a case of “what you lose on the swings you gain on the roundabouts,” or, in the alternative, “whaddaya gonna do?” These things have a life of their own, upon which I suspect discourse has no effect whatsoever. At least people are reading!

    Reply
  36. As an author, I’m of course greatly in favor of people buying their books new, but as an avid reader (8-12 books a week, though I don’t necessarily finish them all) I simply can’t afford to pay full cover price for every book I’m curious about. A lot of genre fiction, in particular, is NOT available through my library system, so my choices are 1) to miss out on the book entirely or 2) to risk the used book price and hope to discover a new wonderful writer. My first encounters with some of my favorite authors have been via used book, and once you get onto that elite list, I’ll pay for your hardcovers gladly.
    Basically I think it’s a case of “what you lose on the swings you gain on the roundabouts,” or, in the alternative, “whaddaya gonna do?” These things have a life of their own, upon which I suspect discourse has no effect whatsoever. At least people are reading!

    Reply
  37. I’ve been known to lend out my books, and never get them back. I go to the used book store to buy them a second time. Of course, I do buy other books from the UBS, especially if it is a new author I’m not sure of, or if the local Chapters doesn’t have it in stock. As for tossing books, I have been known to do it. It usually takes me two years to get up the nerve to do so. I think I was 30 before I tossed all my well-loved books from my teens. I was many years out of University before I tossed the texts I hadn’t opened since.
    I have decided to boycott the library after they tried to ding me for water damage on a book that I hadn’t damaged. So used book stores are my source for undiscovered authors…

    Reply
  38. I’ve been known to lend out my books, and never get them back. I go to the used book store to buy them a second time. Of course, I do buy other books from the UBS, especially if it is a new author I’m not sure of, or if the local Chapters doesn’t have it in stock. As for tossing books, I have been known to do it. It usually takes me two years to get up the nerve to do so. I think I was 30 before I tossed all my well-loved books from my teens. I was many years out of University before I tossed the texts I hadn’t opened since.
    I have decided to boycott the library after they tried to ding me for water damage on a book that I hadn’t damaged. So used book stores are my source for undiscovered authors…

    Reply
  39. I’ve been known to lend out my books, and never get them back. I go to the used book store to buy them a second time. Of course, I do buy other books from the UBS, especially if it is a new author I’m not sure of, or if the local Chapters doesn’t have it in stock. As for tossing books, I have been known to do it. It usually takes me two years to get up the nerve to do so. I think I was 30 before I tossed all my well-loved books from my teens. I was many years out of University before I tossed the texts I hadn’t opened since.
    I have decided to boycott the library after they tried to ding me for water damage on a book that I hadn’t damaged. So used book stores are my source for undiscovered authors…

    Reply
  40. I’ve been known to lend out my books, and never get them back. I go to the used book store to buy them a second time. Of course, I do buy other books from the UBS, especially if it is a new author I’m not sure of, or if the local Chapters doesn’t have it in stock. As for tossing books, I have been known to do it. It usually takes me two years to get up the nerve to do so. I think I was 30 before I tossed all my well-loved books from my teens. I was many years out of University before I tossed the texts I hadn’t opened since.
    I have decided to boycott the library after they tried to ding me for water damage on a book that I hadn’t damaged. So used book stores are my source for undiscovered authors…

    Reply
  41. I think the reason it becomes an ‘either or’ arguement is that it is an either or arguement. It places the burden on the consumer, and not the industry. The consumer has two options. They buy it new or they don’t.
    It should be an industry conversation. Want to control ARC’s? Control them. Require they be sent back in a pre-paid envelope within X number of days or the person is off the ARC list. Give then scannable tracking, keep track of where they went. It’s lovely to say “Pass the ARC to someone, if you must, instead of selling it” but that doesn’t mean that ARC won’t be sold. It’s possibly MORE likely to be sold after it changes hands a few times as it appears more ‘rare’ to the holder.
    Offer people options. Maybe ebooks are the way to go, but they have to be priced accordingly. iTunes proved it can sell all sorts of media. An e-reader is a matter of time. I think it’s criminal that the American library system pays no royalties and shows no tracking of the books to the industry, but that’s something else the consumer is unable to control.
    I guess I’m saying if you have this conversation with consumers, valid as many of the points may be, it HAS to be an either or.

    Reply
  42. I think the reason it becomes an ‘either or’ arguement is that it is an either or arguement. It places the burden on the consumer, and not the industry. The consumer has two options. They buy it new or they don’t.
    It should be an industry conversation. Want to control ARC’s? Control them. Require they be sent back in a pre-paid envelope within X number of days or the person is off the ARC list. Give then scannable tracking, keep track of where they went. It’s lovely to say “Pass the ARC to someone, if you must, instead of selling it” but that doesn’t mean that ARC won’t be sold. It’s possibly MORE likely to be sold after it changes hands a few times as it appears more ‘rare’ to the holder.
    Offer people options. Maybe ebooks are the way to go, but they have to be priced accordingly. iTunes proved it can sell all sorts of media. An e-reader is a matter of time. I think it’s criminal that the American library system pays no royalties and shows no tracking of the books to the industry, but that’s something else the consumer is unable to control.
    I guess I’m saying if you have this conversation with consumers, valid as many of the points may be, it HAS to be an either or.

    Reply
  43. I think the reason it becomes an ‘either or’ arguement is that it is an either or arguement. It places the burden on the consumer, and not the industry. The consumer has two options. They buy it new or they don’t.
    It should be an industry conversation. Want to control ARC’s? Control them. Require they be sent back in a pre-paid envelope within X number of days or the person is off the ARC list. Give then scannable tracking, keep track of where they went. It’s lovely to say “Pass the ARC to someone, if you must, instead of selling it” but that doesn’t mean that ARC won’t be sold. It’s possibly MORE likely to be sold after it changes hands a few times as it appears more ‘rare’ to the holder.
    Offer people options. Maybe ebooks are the way to go, but they have to be priced accordingly. iTunes proved it can sell all sorts of media. An e-reader is a matter of time. I think it’s criminal that the American library system pays no royalties and shows no tracking of the books to the industry, but that’s something else the consumer is unable to control.
    I guess I’m saying if you have this conversation with consumers, valid as many of the points may be, it HAS to be an either or.

    Reply
  44. I think the reason it becomes an ‘either or’ arguement is that it is an either or arguement. It places the burden on the consumer, and not the industry. The consumer has two options. They buy it new or they don’t.
    It should be an industry conversation. Want to control ARC’s? Control them. Require they be sent back in a pre-paid envelope within X number of days or the person is off the ARC list. Give then scannable tracking, keep track of where they went. It’s lovely to say “Pass the ARC to someone, if you must, instead of selling it” but that doesn’t mean that ARC won’t be sold. It’s possibly MORE likely to be sold after it changes hands a few times as it appears more ‘rare’ to the holder.
    Offer people options. Maybe ebooks are the way to go, but they have to be priced accordingly. iTunes proved it can sell all sorts of media. An e-reader is a matter of time. I think it’s criminal that the American library system pays no royalties and shows no tracking of the books to the industry, but that’s something else the consumer is unable to control.
    I guess I’m saying if you have this conversation with consumers, valid as many of the points may be, it HAS to be an either or.

    Reply
  45. Let it be said that I’m a BOOKLOVER first, and an author second. I’ve been known to buy all the leftover books at a library sale because the librarian wanted to hire a truck to take them to the dump. (fortunately for me, it was a small library)
    I have avidly read every book in the library, bought every romance in the small UBS in our old town, and still frequently exchange books with friends. Books are an expensive, addictive habit.
    And I have to agree with everything said by Loretta and everyone else. There is no one right answer. I think authors single out used bookstores because of the horrifying Amazon numbers where our books are sold used before they’ve even hit the stands new. Since our livelihoods depend on those weeks of sale, it’s rather scary to see your kid’s next breakfast get swallowed on Amazon.
    Liz is right that we need to make the industry pay attention and get the laws changed. But an entire industry and government are a little more than authors can manage. We can’t afford lawyers while earning fifty cents a book, at most. So all we can do is ask that if you like our books and want us to keep writing, please buy us new.
    The e-book revolution that’s coming is terrifying in many ways, and I expect it to put the UBS’s out of business and possibly the authors as well. Big music companies have the clout to get laws changed and fight stolen property. Authors simply don’t.
    Even though I totally sympathize with authors trying to put food on their tables, I still donate my books to the library for their annual sale. Without a library, I wouldn’t be here today. I just wish I had better answers.

    Reply
  46. Let it be said that I’m a BOOKLOVER first, and an author second. I’ve been known to buy all the leftover books at a library sale because the librarian wanted to hire a truck to take them to the dump. (fortunately for me, it was a small library)
    I have avidly read every book in the library, bought every romance in the small UBS in our old town, and still frequently exchange books with friends. Books are an expensive, addictive habit.
    And I have to agree with everything said by Loretta and everyone else. There is no one right answer. I think authors single out used bookstores because of the horrifying Amazon numbers where our books are sold used before they’ve even hit the stands new. Since our livelihoods depend on those weeks of sale, it’s rather scary to see your kid’s next breakfast get swallowed on Amazon.
    Liz is right that we need to make the industry pay attention and get the laws changed. But an entire industry and government are a little more than authors can manage. We can’t afford lawyers while earning fifty cents a book, at most. So all we can do is ask that if you like our books and want us to keep writing, please buy us new.
    The e-book revolution that’s coming is terrifying in many ways, and I expect it to put the UBS’s out of business and possibly the authors as well. Big music companies have the clout to get laws changed and fight stolen property. Authors simply don’t.
    Even though I totally sympathize with authors trying to put food on their tables, I still donate my books to the library for their annual sale. Without a library, I wouldn’t be here today. I just wish I had better answers.

    Reply
  47. Let it be said that I’m a BOOKLOVER first, and an author second. I’ve been known to buy all the leftover books at a library sale because the librarian wanted to hire a truck to take them to the dump. (fortunately for me, it was a small library)
    I have avidly read every book in the library, bought every romance in the small UBS in our old town, and still frequently exchange books with friends. Books are an expensive, addictive habit.
    And I have to agree with everything said by Loretta and everyone else. There is no one right answer. I think authors single out used bookstores because of the horrifying Amazon numbers where our books are sold used before they’ve even hit the stands new. Since our livelihoods depend on those weeks of sale, it’s rather scary to see your kid’s next breakfast get swallowed on Amazon.
    Liz is right that we need to make the industry pay attention and get the laws changed. But an entire industry and government are a little more than authors can manage. We can’t afford lawyers while earning fifty cents a book, at most. So all we can do is ask that if you like our books and want us to keep writing, please buy us new.
    The e-book revolution that’s coming is terrifying in many ways, and I expect it to put the UBS’s out of business and possibly the authors as well. Big music companies have the clout to get laws changed and fight stolen property. Authors simply don’t.
    Even though I totally sympathize with authors trying to put food on their tables, I still donate my books to the library for their annual sale. Without a library, I wouldn’t be here today. I just wish I had better answers.

    Reply
  48. Let it be said that I’m a BOOKLOVER first, and an author second. I’ve been known to buy all the leftover books at a library sale because the librarian wanted to hire a truck to take them to the dump. (fortunately for me, it was a small library)
    I have avidly read every book in the library, bought every romance in the small UBS in our old town, and still frequently exchange books with friends. Books are an expensive, addictive habit.
    And I have to agree with everything said by Loretta and everyone else. There is no one right answer. I think authors single out used bookstores because of the horrifying Amazon numbers where our books are sold used before they’ve even hit the stands new. Since our livelihoods depend on those weeks of sale, it’s rather scary to see your kid’s next breakfast get swallowed on Amazon.
    Liz is right that we need to make the industry pay attention and get the laws changed. But an entire industry and government are a little more than authors can manage. We can’t afford lawyers while earning fifty cents a book, at most. So all we can do is ask that if you like our books and want us to keep writing, please buy us new.
    The e-book revolution that’s coming is terrifying in many ways, and I expect it to put the UBS’s out of business and possibly the authors as well. Big music companies have the clout to get laws changed and fight stolen property. Authors simply don’t.
    Even though I totally sympathize with authors trying to put food on their tables, I still donate my books to the library for their annual sale. Without a library, I wouldn’t be here today. I just wish I had better answers.

    Reply
  49. Liz, by Either/Or I meant that this is not a case of Authors wanting to eliminate secondhand bookstores or even the trade in used books. As several authors here have noted, we are not blind to the benefits and patronize the bookstores ourselves. But I don’t see the harm in pointing out the impact of buying decisions to consumers, in this or any other area. The answers don’t always come from the government or from lawyers. Prosecuting people, for, say, downloading music hasn’t won much sympathy for the music industry. We can’t necessarily count on an industry to change its ways (consider our slow progress re fuel efficient cars in the U.S.) or Congress to solve the problem with some brilliant piece of legislation. Why not try to increase consumer awareness? For all we know, a consumer somewhere might come up with an answer that works for everybody. Discontent with the old ways of doing things has led to some amazing innovations, and very often, these innovations come from individuals willing to think creatively, rather than big corporations or government bodies.

    Reply
  50. Liz, by Either/Or I meant that this is not a case of Authors wanting to eliminate secondhand bookstores or even the trade in used books. As several authors here have noted, we are not blind to the benefits and patronize the bookstores ourselves. But I don’t see the harm in pointing out the impact of buying decisions to consumers, in this or any other area. The answers don’t always come from the government or from lawyers. Prosecuting people, for, say, downloading music hasn’t won much sympathy for the music industry. We can’t necessarily count on an industry to change its ways (consider our slow progress re fuel efficient cars in the U.S.) or Congress to solve the problem with some brilliant piece of legislation. Why not try to increase consumer awareness? For all we know, a consumer somewhere might come up with an answer that works for everybody. Discontent with the old ways of doing things has led to some amazing innovations, and very often, these innovations come from individuals willing to think creatively, rather than big corporations or government bodies.

    Reply
  51. Liz, by Either/Or I meant that this is not a case of Authors wanting to eliminate secondhand bookstores or even the trade in used books. As several authors here have noted, we are not blind to the benefits and patronize the bookstores ourselves. But I don’t see the harm in pointing out the impact of buying decisions to consumers, in this or any other area. The answers don’t always come from the government or from lawyers. Prosecuting people, for, say, downloading music hasn’t won much sympathy for the music industry. We can’t necessarily count on an industry to change its ways (consider our slow progress re fuel efficient cars in the U.S.) or Congress to solve the problem with some brilliant piece of legislation. Why not try to increase consumer awareness? For all we know, a consumer somewhere might come up with an answer that works for everybody. Discontent with the old ways of doing things has led to some amazing innovations, and very often, these innovations come from individuals willing to think creatively, rather than big corporations or government bodies.

    Reply
  52. Liz, by Either/Or I meant that this is not a case of Authors wanting to eliminate secondhand bookstores or even the trade in used books. As several authors here have noted, we are not blind to the benefits and patronize the bookstores ourselves. But I don’t see the harm in pointing out the impact of buying decisions to consumers, in this or any other area. The answers don’t always come from the government or from lawyers. Prosecuting people, for, say, downloading music hasn’t won much sympathy for the music industry. We can’t necessarily count on an industry to change its ways (consider our slow progress re fuel efficient cars in the U.S.) or Congress to solve the problem with some brilliant piece of legislation. Why not try to increase consumer awareness? For all we know, a consumer somewhere might come up with an answer that works for everybody. Discontent with the old ways of doing things has led to some amazing innovations, and very often, these innovations come from individuals willing to think creatively, rather than big corporations or government bodies.

    Reply
  53. Although I’m an aspiring writer, I have to admit that I have very strong views about intellectual property. I suspect that many authors would take my views as wrong-headed, perhaps even dangerous. I developed this view before I started writing seriously, but I don’t think it’s changed.
    I guess I have to tell a bit of a story to get to what I believe and how. It’s a story with a $4000 price tag–and growing.
    About ten years ago, when I was putting myself through college, I was living on something close to $400 a month. Yes, that included rent, utilities, food, and entertainment. Everything. And yes, it wasn’t in New York or anywhere seriously urban and expensive, but it was a stretch. A huge stretch.
    Midway through a financially difficult period for me, I came upon an author who was posting portions of her novel online. Dribs and drabs came through, nearly every day. Bits of chapters. The first 10 chapters of that novel were posted in the months before publication, and I was desperate for more. I was so desperate that I ate nothing but rice and beans for two weeks so that I could save the hardcover price from my $15/week food allotment.
    The book was Lois McMaster Bujold’s “A Civil Campaign.” I now own everything she has ever written, including omnibus reprints, first editions gleaned from used bookstores, hardcopies and paperbacks.
    And now we get to the $4,000. Having devoured Bujold, I began looking for more. The dedication in “A Civil Campaign” was someting like this: “To Jane, Charlotte, Dorothy, and Georgette. Long may they reign.”
    I’d already read all of Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, but Dorothy Sayers and Georgette Heyer were new to me. After Georgette Heyer, I started reading more Regency–including the Word Wenches, and I have to say that yes, I did buy some of your books used–and then more historicals, and then contemporary romances.
    10 years later, my salary is much more comfortable. Last year alone, I spent over $1,500 on books. Fully half of that went to romance novels. These days, I buy them all new, and if there’s an author I really love, I’ll buy her book in hardcover as well. I couldn’t afford new books then, but now that I can, I’m trying to pay it back with a vengeance.
    And it all started with Bujold giving away ten chapters of her book. So I very firmly believe that giving things away is vastly underestimated. There is, granted, a line that can be crossed. You can’t give everything away. But I think that the line is far more permissive then some people imagine.
    And so I tend to think that selling ARCs very rarely costs an author a sale, and could, in fact, make authors sales. I think that having readers is as important, if not more important, as having readers who buy new books. (The theory there is that some percentage of readers who buy new books; more readers = greater percentage who will eventually buy a book new.) I think that fan fiction is the greatest marketing tool an author can have on the internet, and while it’s not wise for the author to read it herself, there’s no reason not to encourage it.
    And I also think that if I ever wanted a book so badly that I would buy the ARC, I’d make sure to buy the book as soon as it came out, too.

    Reply
  54. Although I’m an aspiring writer, I have to admit that I have very strong views about intellectual property. I suspect that many authors would take my views as wrong-headed, perhaps even dangerous. I developed this view before I started writing seriously, but I don’t think it’s changed.
    I guess I have to tell a bit of a story to get to what I believe and how. It’s a story with a $4000 price tag–and growing.
    About ten years ago, when I was putting myself through college, I was living on something close to $400 a month. Yes, that included rent, utilities, food, and entertainment. Everything. And yes, it wasn’t in New York or anywhere seriously urban and expensive, but it was a stretch. A huge stretch.
    Midway through a financially difficult period for me, I came upon an author who was posting portions of her novel online. Dribs and drabs came through, nearly every day. Bits of chapters. The first 10 chapters of that novel were posted in the months before publication, and I was desperate for more. I was so desperate that I ate nothing but rice and beans for two weeks so that I could save the hardcover price from my $15/week food allotment.
    The book was Lois McMaster Bujold’s “A Civil Campaign.” I now own everything she has ever written, including omnibus reprints, first editions gleaned from used bookstores, hardcopies and paperbacks.
    And now we get to the $4,000. Having devoured Bujold, I began looking for more. The dedication in “A Civil Campaign” was someting like this: “To Jane, Charlotte, Dorothy, and Georgette. Long may they reign.”
    I’d already read all of Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, but Dorothy Sayers and Georgette Heyer were new to me. After Georgette Heyer, I started reading more Regency–including the Word Wenches, and I have to say that yes, I did buy some of your books used–and then more historicals, and then contemporary romances.
    10 years later, my salary is much more comfortable. Last year alone, I spent over $1,500 on books. Fully half of that went to romance novels. These days, I buy them all new, and if there’s an author I really love, I’ll buy her book in hardcover as well. I couldn’t afford new books then, but now that I can, I’m trying to pay it back with a vengeance.
    And it all started with Bujold giving away ten chapters of her book. So I very firmly believe that giving things away is vastly underestimated. There is, granted, a line that can be crossed. You can’t give everything away. But I think that the line is far more permissive then some people imagine.
    And so I tend to think that selling ARCs very rarely costs an author a sale, and could, in fact, make authors sales. I think that having readers is as important, if not more important, as having readers who buy new books. (The theory there is that some percentage of readers who buy new books; more readers = greater percentage who will eventually buy a book new.) I think that fan fiction is the greatest marketing tool an author can have on the internet, and while it’s not wise for the author to read it herself, there’s no reason not to encourage it.
    And I also think that if I ever wanted a book so badly that I would buy the ARC, I’d make sure to buy the book as soon as it came out, too.

    Reply
  55. Although I’m an aspiring writer, I have to admit that I have very strong views about intellectual property. I suspect that many authors would take my views as wrong-headed, perhaps even dangerous. I developed this view before I started writing seriously, but I don’t think it’s changed.
    I guess I have to tell a bit of a story to get to what I believe and how. It’s a story with a $4000 price tag–and growing.
    About ten years ago, when I was putting myself through college, I was living on something close to $400 a month. Yes, that included rent, utilities, food, and entertainment. Everything. And yes, it wasn’t in New York or anywhere seriously urban and expensive, but it was a stretch. A huge stretch.
    Midway through a financially difficult period for me, I came upon an author who was posting portions of her novel online. Dribs and drabs came through, nearly every day. Bits of chapters. The first 10 chapters of that novel were posted in the months before publication, and I was desperate for more. I was so desperate that I ate nothing but rice and beans for two weeks so that I could save the hardcover price from my $15/week food allotment.
    The book was Lois McMaster Bujold’s “A Civil Campaign.” I now own everything she has ever written, including omnibus reprints, first editions gleaned from used bookstores, hardcopies and paperbacks.
    And now we get to the $4,000. Having devoured Bujold, I began looking for more. The dedication in “A Civil Campaign” was someting like this: “To Jane, Charlotte, Dorothy, and Georgette. Long may they reign.”
    I’d already read all of Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, but Dorothy Sayers and Georgette Heyer were new to me. After Georgette Heyer, I started reading more Regency–including the Word Wenches, and I have to say that yes, I did buy some of your books used–and then more historicals, and then contemporary romances.
    10 years later, my salary is much more comfortable. Last year alone, I spent over $1,500 on books. Fully half of that went to romance novels. These days, I buy them all new, and if there’s an author I really love, I’ll buy her book in hardcover as well. I couldn’t afford new books then, but now that I can, I’m trying to pay it back with a vengeance.
    And it all started with Bujold giving away ten chapters of her book. So I very firmly believe that giving things away is vastly underestimated. There is, granted, a line that can be crossed. You can’t give everything away. But I think that the line is far more permissive then some people imagine.
    And so I tend to think that selling ARCs very rarely costs an author a sale, and could, in fact, make authors sales. I think that having readers is as important, if not more important, as having readers who buy new books. (The theory there is that some percentage of readers who buy new books; more readers = greater percentage who will eventually buy a book new.) I think that fan fiction is the greatest marketing tool an author can have on the internet, and while it’s not wise for the author to read it herself, there’s no reason not to encourage it.
    And I also think that if I ever wanted a book so badly that I would buy the ARC, I’d make sure to buy the book as soon as it came out, too.

    Reply
  56. Although I’m an aspiring writer, I have to admit that I have very strong views about intellectual property. I suspect that many authors would take my views as wrong-headed, perhaps even dangerous. I developed this view before I started writing seriously, but I don’t think it’s changed.
    I guess I have to tell a bit of a story to get to what I believe and how. It’s a story with a $4000 price tag–and growing.
    About ten years ago, when I was putting myself through college, I was living on something close to $400 a month. Yes, that included rent, utilities, food, and entertainment. Everything. And yes, it wasn’t in New York or anywhere seriously urban and expensive, but it was a stretch. A huge stretch.
    Midway through a financially difficult period for me, I came upon an author who was posting portions of her novel online. Dribs and drabs came through, nearly every day. Bits of chapters. The first 10 chapters of that novel were posted in the months before publication, and I was desperate for more. I was so desperate that I ate nothing but rice and beans for two weeks so that I could save the hardcover price from my $15/week food allotment.
    The book was Lois McMaster Bujold’s “A Civil Campaign.” I now own everything she has ever written, including omnibus reprints, first editions gleaned from used bookstores, hardcopies and paperbacks.
    And now we get to the $4,000. Having devoured Bujold, I began looking for more. The dedication in “A Civil Campaign” was someting like this: “To Jane, Charlotte, Dorothy, and Georgette. Long may they reign.”
    I’d already read all of Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, but Dorothy Sayers and Georgette Heyer were new to me. After Georgette Heyer, I started reading more Regency–including the Word Wenches, and I have to say that yes, I did buy some of your books used–and then more historicals, and then contemporary romances.
    10 years later, my salary is much more comfortable. Last year alone, I spent over $1,500 on books. Fully half of that went to romance novels. These days, I buy them all new, and if there’s an author I really love, I’ll buy her book in hardcover as well. I couldn’t afford new books then, but now that I can, I’m trying to pay it back with a vengeance.
    And it all started with Bujold giving away ten chapters of her book. So I very firmly believe that giving things away is vastly underestimated. There is, granted, a line that can be crossed. You can’t give everything away. But I think that the line is far more permissive then some people imagine.
    And so I tend to think that selling ARCs very rarely costs an author a sale, and could, in fact, make authors sales. I think that having readers is as important, if not more important, as having readers who buy new books. (The theory there is that some percentage of readers who buy new books; more readers = greater percentage who will eventually buy a book new.) I think that fan fiction is the greatest marketing tool an author can have on the internet, and while it’s not wise for the author to read it herself, there’s no reason not to encourage it.
    And I also think that if I ever wanted a book so badly that I would buy the ARC, I’d make sure to buy the book as soon as it came out, too.

    Reply
  57. I have as little interest in ARCs as I do in abridgements. Why would I want an incomplete copy of a book? I can just barely understand the collectible appeal of ARCs, but it doesn’t lure me. If I accidentally came into possession of an ARC, I’d probably toss it; but generally it’s almost impossible for me to trash books. They have to be really nasty/smelly or complete dross (or abridged – I have no trouble tossing abridged books).
    I do frequent used book stores for older titles, authors I don’t have a lot of confidence in, or uneven authors. Eight dollars is a lot to pay for a roll of the dice, and I’m not a gambler. The financial aspect is similar for readers: a trip to the bookstore or the grocery store. I rarely buy used books online, though. After shipping costs, you pay as much as you would for a new book anyway. Since I’ve been exposed to online discussions of used vs. new, I’ve made a conscious effort to support authors I like and have been buying more new lately. But as a result of the greater outlay, I’ve been buying fewer books lately which might not impact authors but definitely impacts me. You Wenches will be happy to know that you lead my “buy new” list. I even bought MJP’s last hardcover but that was mostly because I couldn’t wait to read it. 🙂
    I don’t care for ebooks though I do buy them if that’s the author’s primary medium, but I don’t buy nearly the amount of ebooks as I do paper. Books are an investment, and a bad ebook is a complete waste of money. A bad book can be given away or traded for some recuperation. The only thing to be done with a bad ebook is delete it and put the author on the “do not buy” list. I’m not going to pay another $6 – $8 to try the author again when they’ve disappointed me once. It’s not like I can buy a used copy to test the waters – one strike and you’re out. Plus, ebooks are ephemeral. They don’t stand up well to water and hard drive crashes.

    Reply
  58. I have as little interest in ARCs as I do in abridgements. Why would I want an incomplete copy of a book? I can just barely understand the collectible appeal of ARCs, but it doesn’t lure me. If I accidentally came into possession of an ARC, I’d probably toss it; but generally it’s almost impossible for me to trash books. They have to be really nasty/smelly or complete dross (or abridged – I have no trouble tossing abridged books).
    I do frequent used book stores for older titles, authors I don’t have a lot of confidence in, or uneven authors. Eight dollars is a lot to pay for a roll of the dice, and I’m not a gambler. The financial aspect is similar for readers: a trip to the bookstore or the grocery store. I rarely buy used books online, though. After shipping costs, you pay as much as you would for a new book anyway. Since I’ve been exposed to online discussions of used vs. new, I’ve made a conscious effort to support authors I like and have been buying more new lately. But as a result of the greater outlay, I’ve been buying fewer books lately which might not impact authors but definitely impacts me. You Wenches will be happy to know that you lead my “buy new” list. I even bought MJP’s last hardcover but that was mostly because I couldn’t wait to read it. 🙂
    I don’t care for ebooks though I do buy them if that’s the author’s primary medium, but I don’t buy nearly the amount of ebooks as I do paper. Books are an investment, and a bad ebook is a complete waste of money. A bad book can be given away or traded for some recuperation. The only thing to be done with a bad ebook is delete it and put the author on the “do not buy” list. I’m not going to pay another $6 – $8 to try the author again when they’ve disappointed me once. It’s not like I can buy a used copy to test the waters – one strike and you’re out. Plus, ebooks are ephemeral. They don’t stand up well to water and hard drive crashes.

    Reply
  59. I have as little interest in ARCs as I do in abridgements. Why would I want an incomplete copy of a book? I can just barely understand the collectible appeal of ARCs, but it doesn’t lure me. If I accidentally came into possession of an ARC, I’d probably toss it; but generally it’s almost impossible for me to trash books. They have to be really nasty/smelly or complete dross (or abridged – I have no trouble tossing abridged books).
    I do frequent used book stores for older titles, authors I don’t have a lot of confidence in, or uneven authors. Eight dollars is a lot to pay for a roll of the dice, and I’m not a gambler. The financial aspect is similar for readers: a trip to the bookstore or the grocery store. I rarely buy used books online, though. After shipping costs, you pay as much as you would for a new book anyway. Since I’ve been exposed to online discussions of used vs. new, I’ve made a conscious effort to support authors I like and have been buying more new lately. But as a result of the greater outlay, I’ve been buying fewer books lately which might not impact authors but definitely impacts me. You Wenches will be happy to know that you lead my “buy new” list. I even bought MJP’s last hardcover but that was mostly because I couldn’t wait to read it. 🙂
    I don’t care for ebooks though I do buy them if that’s the author’s primary medium, but I don’t buy nearly the amount of ebooks as I do paper. Books are an investment, and a bad ebook is a complete waste of money. A bad book can be given away or traded for some recuperation. The only thing to be done with a bad ebook is delete it and put the author on the “do not buy” list. I’m not going to pay another $6 – $8 to try the author again when they’ve disappointed me once. It’s not like I can buy a used copy to test the waters – one strike and you’re out. Plus, ebooks are ephemeral. They don’t stand up well to water and hard drive crashes.

    Reply
  60. I have as little interest in ARCs as I do in abridgements. Why would I want an incomplete copy of a book? I can just barely understand the collectible appeal of ARCs, but it doesn’t lure me. If I accidentally came into possession of an ARC, I’d probably toss it; but generally it’s almost impossible for me to trash books. They have to be really nasty/smelly or complete dross (or abridged – I have no trouble tossing abridged books).
    I do frequent used book stores for older titles, authors I don’t have a lot of confidence in, or uneven authors. Eight dollars is a lot to pay for a roll of the dice, and I’m not a gambler. The financial aspect is similar for readers: a trip to the bookstore or the grocery store. I rarely buy used books online, though. After shipping costs, you pay as much as you would for a new book anyway. Since I’ve been exposed to online discussions of used vs. new, I’ve made a conscious effort to support authors I like and have been buying more new lately. But as a result of the greater outlay, I’ve been buying fewer books lately which might not impact authors but definitely impacts me. You Wenches will be happy to know that you lead my “buy new” list. I even bought MJP’s last hardcover but that was mostly because I couldn’t wait to read it. 🙂
    I don’t care for ebooks though I do buy them if that’s the author’s primary medium, but I don’t buy nearly the amount of ebooks as I do paper. Books are an investment, and a bad ebook is a complete waste of money. A bad book can be given away or traded for some recuperation. The only thing to be done with a bad ebook is delete it and put the author on the “do not buy” list. I’m not going to pay another $6 – $8 to try the author again when they’ve disappointed me once. It’s not like I can buy a used copy to test the waters – one strike and you’re out. Plus, ebooks are ephemeral. They don’t stand up well to water and hard drive crashes.

    Reply
  61. Like a good Pisces, I love to read in the tub, glass of red wine by my side.
    With the sad and terrible result of an occassional drowned paperback. I *sigh* do then have to toss the carcass in the recycling bin. But I replace it if it’s a keeper. My friends love to borrow my books that are only a bit water-warped, knowing they are allowed to read them in the tub, too!
    Fascinating discussion on ARC’s. I had read that letter in the RWR and wondered about it. Thanks for an edifying topic all the way ’round.

    Reply
  62. Like a good Pisces, I love to read in the tub, glass of red wine by my side.
    With the sad and terrible result of an occassional drowned paperback. I *sigh* do then have to toss the carcass in the recycling bin. But I replace it if it’s a keeper. My friends love to borrow my books that are only a bit water-warped, knowing they are allowed to read them in the tub, too!
    Fascinating discussion on ARC’s. I had read that letter in the RWR and wondered about it. Thanks for an edifying topic all the way ’round.

    Reply
  63. Like a good Pisces, I love to read in the tub, glass of red wine by my side.
    With the sad and terrible result of an occassional drowned paperback. I *sigh* do then have to toss the carcass in the recycling bin. But I replace it if it’s a keeper. My friends love to borrow my books that are only a bit water-warped, knowing they are allowed to read them in the tub, too!
    Fascinating discussion on ARC’s. I had read that letter in the RWR and wondered about it. Thanks for an edifying topic all the way ’round.

    Reply
  64. Like a good Pisces, I love to read in the tub, glass of red wine by my side.
    With the sad and terrible result of an occassional drowned paperback. I *sigh* do then have to toss the carcass in the recycling bin. But I replace it if it’s a keeper. My friends love to borrow my books that are only a bit water-warped, knowing they are allowed to read them in the tub, too!
    Fascinating discussion on ARC’s. I had read that letter in the RWR and wondered about it. Thanks for an edifying topic all the way ’round.

    Reply
  65. I’m an academic librarian. We accept donations, but frequently tossed more than we kept. Law books from the 1930’s have historical value, but our patrons don’t want to read them. Same for marketing textbooks from the 1960’s, or computer programming books more than 10 years old. Even though it still makes me feel guilty, I’ve learned that not every book can be saved. Especially with a director that doesn’t believe genre fiction belongs in an academic library. 🙁
    As for UBS, I have to support them. When I was a starving college student my local public library stank and the USB on Tharpe Street kept me sane by keeping me reading at a price I could afford. It also introduced me to authors I’m still reading today including Diana Palmer, Nora Roberts, Mary Balogh, Ginna Gray, Linda Howard and Jayne Ann Krentz. My current USB helped me test and learn to love authors like Loretta, Mary Jo, Julia Quinn, Anne Gracie, Diane Gaston and Stephanie Laurens. I buy new once I’ve learned to trust an author, but let’s face it. Without USBs that just wouldn’t happen often. Like too many others I can’t afford to buy many $8 books in case I /might/ like an author. I did mention I’m a librarian, right? 😉

    Reply
  66. I’m an academic librarian. We accept donations, but frequently tossed more than we kept. Law books from the 1930’s have historical value, but our patrons don’t want to read them. Same for marketing textbooks from the 1960’s, or computer programming books more than 10 years old. Even though it still makes me feel guilty, I’ve learned that not every book can be saved. Especially with a director that doesn’t believe genre fiction belongs in an academic library. 🙁
    As for UBS, I have to support them. When I was a starving college student my local public library stank and the USB on Tharpe Street kept me sane by keeping me reading at a price I could afford. It also introduced me to authors I’m still reading today including Diana Palmer, Nora Roberts, Mary Balogh, Ginna Gray, Linda Howard and Jayne Ann Krentz. My current USB helped me test and learn to love authors like Loretta, Mary Jo, Julia Quinn, Anne Gracie, Diane Gaston and Stephanie Laurens. I buy new once I’ve learned to trust an author, but let’s face it. Without USBs that just wouldn’t happen often. Like too many others I can’t afford to buy many $8 books in case I /might/ like an author. I did mention I’m a librarian, right? 😉

    Reply
  67. I’m an academic librarian. We accept donations, but frequently tossed more than we kept. Law books from the 1930’s have historical value, but our patrons don’t want to read them. Same for marketing textbooks from the 1960’s, or computer programming books more than 10 years old. Even though it still makes me feel guilty, I’ve learned that not every book can be saved. Especially with a director that doesn’t believe genre fiction belongs in an academic library. 🙁
    As for UBS, I have to support them. When I was a starving college student my local public library stank and the USB on Tharpe Street kept me sane by keeping me reading at a price I could afford. It also introduced me to authors I’m still reading today including Diana Palmer, Nora Roberts, Mary Balogh, Ginna Gray, Linda Howard and Jayne Ann Krentz. My current USB helped me test and learn to love authors like Loretta, Mary Jo, Julia Quinn, Anne Gracie, Diane Gaston and Stephanie Laurens. I buy new once I’ve learned to trust an author, but let’s face it. Without USBs that just wouldn’t happen often. Like too many others I can’t afford to buy many $8 books in case I /might/ like an author. I did mention I’m a librarian, right? 😉

    Reply
  68. I’m an academic librarian. We accept donations, but frequently tossed more than we kept. Law books from the 1930’s have historical value, but our patrons don’t want to read them. Same for marketing textbooks from the 1960’s, or computer programming books more than 10 years old. Even though it still makes me feel guilty, I’ve learned that not every book can be saved. Especially with a director that doesn’t believe genre fiction belongs in an academic library. 🙁
    As for UBS, I have to support them. When I was a starving college student my local public library stank and the USB on Tharpe Street kept me sane by keeping me reading at a price I could afford. It also introduced me to authors I’m still reading today including Diana Palmer, Nora Roberts, Mary Balogh, Ginna Gray, Linda Howard and Jayne Ann Krentz. My current USB helped me test and learn to love authors like Loretta, Mary Jo, Julia Quinn, Anne Gracie, Diane Gaston and Stephanie Laurens. I buy new once I’ve learned to trust an author, but let’s face it. Without USBs that just wouldn’t happen often. Like too many others I can’t afford to buy many $8 books in case I /might/ like an author. I did mention I’m a librarian, right? 😉

    Reply
  69. Patricia – The inevitable e-book wave will do something – but maybe it will allow you to make more than fifty cents a copy. (It takes a lot of people to get your book into my hands and they’re not free.) Pricing out ebooks at $6 – 8 is just absurd – it’s like saying the paper, the shipping, the shelving, etc don’t cost anything. That would guarantee file sharing. However, I think if ebooks had a reasonable price (say, $3) people would be far less likely to share. I agree authors have little power in this dynamic – look at the muscians trying (in vain) to side with consumers on DRM issues. Not even Apple was able to talk reason to the industry.

    Reply
  70. Patricia – The inevitable e-book wave will do something – but maybe it will allow you to make more than fifty cents a copy. (It takes a lot of people to get your book into my hands and they’re not free.) Pricing out ebooks at $6 – 8 is just absurd – it’s like saying the paper, the shipping, the shelving, etc don’t cost anything. That would guarantee file sharing. However, I think if ebooks had a reasonable price (say, $3) people would be far less likely to share. I agree authors have little power in this dynamic – look at the muscians trying (in vain) to side with consumers on DRM issues. Not even Apple was able to talk reason to the industry.

    Reply
  71. Patricia – The inevitable e-book wave will do something – but maybe it will allow you to make more than fifty cents a copy. (It takes a lot of people to get your book into my hands and they’re not free.) Pricing out ebooks at $6 – 8 is just absurd – it’s like saying the paper, the shipping, the shelving, etc don’t cost anything. That would guarantee file sharing. However, I think if ebooks had a reasonable price (say, $3) people would be far less likely to share. I agree authors have little power in this dynamic – look at the muscians trying (in vain) to side with consumers on DRM issues. Not even Apple was able to talk reason to the industry.

    Reply
  72. Patricia – The inevitable e-book wave will do something – but maybe it will allow you to make more than fifty cents a copy. (It takes a lot of people to get your book into my hands and they’re not free.) Pricing out ebooks at $6 – 8 is just absurd – it’s like saying the paper, the shipping, the shelving, etc don’t cost anything. That would guarantee file sharing. However, I think if ebooks had a reasonable price (say, $3) people would be far less likely to share. I agree authors have little power in this dynamic – look at the muscians trying (in vain) to side with consumers on DRM issues. Not even Apple was able to talk reason to the industry.

    Reply
  73. Loretta – Now we all know what happens when I have time to discuss things. I have no problem with consumer awareness, even though I frequently experience it in counter productive ways (like those who urge NOT buying new to save resources). Some days you’re Metallica, some days you’re Barenaked Ladies. and yea, the Amazon issue is huge for authors, I get that. I actually don’t buy used books, although I do swap with people. The only thing you can trust industry to do is protect the status quo – industry is industrious, not innovative, I agree. But with trade format on the rise and budgets on the decline, there’s a conflict for readers.

    Reply
  74. Loretta – Now we all know what happens when I have time to discuss things. I have no problem with consumer awareness, even though I frequently experience it in counter productive ways (like those who urge NOT buying new to save resources). Some days you’re Metallica, some days you’re Barenaked Ladies. and yea, the Amazon issue is huge for authors, I get that. I actually don’t buy used books, although I do swap with people. The only thing you can trust industry to do is protect the status quo – industry is industrious, not innovative, I agree. But with trade format on the rise and budgets on the decline, there’s a conflict for readers.

    Reply
  75. Loretta – Now we all know what happens when I have time to discuss things. I have no problem with consumer awareness, even though I frequently experience it in counter productive ways (like those who urge NOT buying new to save resources). Some days you’re Metallica, some days you’re Barenaked Ladies. and yea, the Amazon issue is huge for authors, I get that. I actually don’t buy used books, although I do swap with people. The only thing you can trust industry to do is protect the status quo – industry is industrious, not innovative, I agree. But with trade format on the rise and budgets on the decline, there’s a conflict for readers.

    Reply
  76. Loretta – Now we all know what happens when I have time to discuss things. I have no problem with consumer awareness, even though I frequently experience it in counter productive ways (like those who urge NOT buying new to save resources). Some days you’re Metallica, some days you’re Barenaked Ladies. and yea, the Amazon issue is huge for authors, I get that. I actually don’t buy used books, although I do swap with people. The only thing you can trust industry to do is protect the status quo – industry is industrious, not innovative, I agree. But with trade format on the rise and budgets on the decline, there’s a conflict for readers.

    Reply
  77. I think the thing that has come out of the music industry experience is that companies can no longer get away with selling rubbish. This scares the bloated major labels because they have relied on promotion rather than the music. If you don’t like the album filler, then now you can just buy the tracks you want. It is harder to sell an artist purely through promotion because once people hear the awful music on the internet they’re not going to buy it.
    The new system starts to level the playing field for smaller companies that can’t afford so much advertising. It has made the quality of the music more important than the image.
    As regards books, I hope the same thing happens. A market that rewards good writing and not promotion or distribution seems an excellent thing. Change is not always bad. Unless, in this case, you happen to be a bad writer!

    Reply
  78. I think the thing that has come out of the music industry experience is that companies can no longer get away with selling rubbish. This scares the bloated major labels because they have relied on promotion rather than the music. If you don’t like the album filler, then now you can just buy the tracks you want. It is harder to sell an artist purely through promotion because once people hear the awful music on the internet they’re not going to buy it.
    The new system starts to level the playing field for smaller companies that can’t afford so much advertising. It has made the quality of the music more important than the image.
    As regards books, I hope the same thing happens. A market that rewards good writing and not promotion or distribution seems an excellent thing. Change is not always bad. Unless, in this case, you happen to be a bad writer!

    Reply
  79. I think the thing that has come out of the music industry experience is that companies can no longer get away with selling rubbish. This scares the bloated major labels because they have relied on promotion rather than the music. If you don’t like the album filler, then now you can just buy the tracks you want. It is harder to sell an artist purely through promotion because once people hear the awful music on the internet they’re not going to buy it.
    The new system starts to level the playing field for smaller companies that can’t afford so much advertising. It has made the quality of the music more important than the image.
    As regards books, I hope the same thing happens. A market that rewards good writing and not promotion or distribution seems an excellent thing. Change is not always bad. Unless, in this case, you happen to be a bad writer!

    Reply
  80. I think the thing that has come out of the music industry experience is that companies can no longer get away with selling rubbish. This scares the bloated major labels because they have relied on promotion rather than the music. If you don’t like the album filler, then now you can just buy the tracks you want. It is harder to sell an artist purely through promotion because once people hear the awful music on the internet they’re not going to buy it.
    The new system starts to level the playing field for smaller companies that can’t afford so much advertising. It has made the quality of the music more important than the image.
    As regards books, I hope the same thing happens. A market that rewards good writing and not promotion or distribution seems an excellent thing. Change is not always bad. Unless, in this case, you happen to be a bad writer!

    Reply
  81. I was out of town yesterday, and so missed this discussion — but I did want to add my two cents’ worth.
    Yes, buying used books and galleys is a way to read at a reduced rate, esp. for those on a tight budget. But please remember that the average romance writer earns less than $10,000 a year from her work. Fifteen percent of that goes to agents, which means a princely sum of $8,500 or less. The majority of writers have to have other jobs (or spouses with other jobs) to survive. For most writers, writing is truly a labor of love.
    And it’s not just the advance money here. When publishers decide which books they buy from which authors, whether someone with a distinguished career or a newbie, what matters most is how many copies the author’s last book sold. It’s business, not art. Not the reviews, or the awards, or the fan letters, or the copies that were sold second-hand. And if you don’t sell, you don’t get published again. Ever.
    So when you decide to “try” a new writer or buy an old favorite author through a USB, please remember that as much as you might love that writer, that may be the only book s/he ever gets published….

    Reply
  82. I was out of town yesterday, and so missed this discussion — but I did want to add my two cents’ worth.
    Yes, buying used books and galleys is a way to read at a reduced rate, esp. for those on a tight budget. But please remember that the average romance writer earns less than $10,000 a year from her work. Fifteen percent of that goes to agents, which means a princely sum of $8,500 or less. The majority of writers have to have other jobs (or spouses with other jobs) to survive. For most writers, writing is truly a labor of love.
    And it’s not just the advance money here. When publishers decide which books they buy from which authors, whether someone with a distinguished career or a newbie, what matters most is how many copies the author’s last book sold. It’s business, not art. Not the reviews, or the awards, or the fan letters, or the copies that were sold second-hand. And if you don’t sell, you don’t get published again. Ever.
    So when you decide to “try” a new writer or buy an old favorite author through a USB, please remember that as much as you might love that writer, that may be the only book s/he ever gets published….

    Reply
  83. I was out of town yesterday, and so missed this discussion — but I did want to add my two cents’ worth.
    Yes, buying used books and galleys is a way to read at a reduced rate, esp. for those on a tight budget. But please remember that the average romance writer earns less than $10,000 a year from her work. Fifteen percent of that goes to agents, which means a princely sum of $8,500 or less. The majority of writers have to have other jobs (or spouses with other jobs) to survive. For most writers, writing is truly a labor of love.
    And it’s not just the advance money here. When publishers decide which books they buy from which authors, whether someone with a distinguished career or a newbie, what matters most is how many copies the author’s last book sold. It’s business, not art. Not the reviews, or the awards, or the fan letters, or the copies that were sold second-hand. And if you don’t sell, you don’t get published again. Ever.
    So when you decide to “try” a new writer or buy an old favorite author through a USB, please remember that as much as you might love that writer, that may be the only book s/he ever gets published….

    Reply
  84. I was out of town yesterday, and so missed this discussion — but I did want to add my two cents’ worth.
    Yes, buying used books and galleys is a way to read at a reduced rate, esp. for those on a tight budget. But please remember that the average romance writer earns less than $10,000 a year from her work. Fifteen percent of that goes to agents, which means a princely sum of $8,500 or less. The majority of writers have to have other jobs (or spouses with other jobs) to survive. For most writers, writing is truly a labor of love.
    And it’s not just the advance money here. When publishers decide which books they buy from which authors, whether someone with a distinguished career or a newbie, what matters most is how many copies the author’s last book sold. It’s business, not art. Not the reviews, or the awards, or the fan letters, or the copies that were sold second-hand. And if you don’t sell, you don’t get published again. Ever.
    So when you decide to “try” a new writer or buy an old favorite author through a USB, please remember that as much as you might love that writer, that may be the only book s/he ever gets published….

    Reply
  85. I’m a day late, so I’m hoping that someone will read this!
    I’m kind of confused about the whole ebook thing. Does that mean you read it on the computer screen, or do you print it out? For me, I just can’t see sitting in front of the computer for a day, when I can curl up on the couch under a blanket with a cup of cocoa and read a book. Easy to mark the page with a folded corner *if* I must leave it and do something. Is the ebook going to replace this? I can’t see how, but then am finding that my ideas about modern technology are – well, middle aged, sadly enough. When did I turn into my parents?

    Reply
  86. I’m a day late, so I’m hoping that someone will read this!
    I’m kind of confused about the whole ebook thing. Does that mean you read it on the computer screen, or do you print it out? For me, I just can’t see sitting in front of the computer for a day, when I can curl up on the couch under a blanket with a cup of cocoa and read a book. Easy to mark the page with a folded corner *if* I must leave it and do something. Is the ebook going to replace this? I can’t see how, but then am finding that my ideas about modern technology are – well, middle aged, sadly enough. When did I turn into my parents?

    Reply
  87. I’m a day late, so I’m hoping that someone will read this!
    I’m kind of confused about the whole ebook thing. Does that mean you read it on the computer screen, or do you print it out? For me, I just can’t see sitting in front of the computer for a day, when I can curl up on the couch under a blanket with a cup of cocoa and read a book. Easy to mark the page with a folded corner *if* I must leave it and do something. Is the ebook going to replace this? I can’t see how, but then am finding that my ideas about modern technology are – well, middle aged, sadly enough. When did I turn into my parents?

    Reply
  88. I’m a day late, so I’m hoping that someone will read this!
    I’m kind of confused about the whole ebook thing. Does that mean you read it on the computer screen, or do you print it out? For me, I just can’t see sitting in front of the computer for a day, when I can curl up on the couch under a blanket with a cup of cocoa and read a book. Easy to mark the page with a folded corner *if* I must leave it and do something. Is the ebook going to replace this? I can’t see how, but then am finding that my ideas about modern technology are – well, middle aged, sadly enough. When did I turn into my parents?

    Reply
  89. Piper, I’m the one who brought up e-books so I thought I ought to be the one to answer, but really, the answer is so mixed up in technology that it’s not a simple reply. E-books can be encrypted so you can only read them on a certain type of reader (Sony just came out with one) or a certain kind of program on your computer or laptop. I think Harlequin even has some you can pick up on your cellphone. I think ultimately, when the handheld readers are developed and cheap enough, that will be the ultimate method. They have the technology to make them look like books with pages if you like, so I assume there will be all kinds of variety.
    The problem is that like music, e-books can not be locked up tight enough to keep people from copying. Already our books are being offered for FREE on the internet. As you say, reading them on the computer would be a pain, but for people in other countries, this is sometimes the only option. Our books may be sold in some foreign countries, but not all, and even in English speaking Australia they can be tough to find. So I even understand why people would steal them and put them out there.
    But as with all good things, free books and cheap books mean eventually, you get what you pay for. Real authors will have to quit writing and start sacking groceries to pay the bills. So ultimately, the only thing available will be self-pubbed by people who don’t care if they get paid or not. (and I am not saying that’s what the e-book industry is now, just what the future might be)
    There are so many parameters to this messy ball of gell that I can’t begin to show them all, sorry!

    Reply
  90. Piper, I’m the one who brought up e-books so I thought I ought to be the one to answer, but really, the answer is so mixed up in technology that it’s not a simple reply. E-books can be encrypted so you can only read them on a certain type of reader (Sony just came out with one) or a certain kind of program on your computer or laptop. I think Harlequin even has some you can pick up on your cellphone. I think ultimately, when the handheld readers are developed and cheap enough, that will be the ultimate method. They have the technology to make them look like books with pages if you like, so I assume there will be all kinds of variety.
    The problem is that like music, e-books can not be locked up tight enough to keep people from copying. Already our books are being offered for FREE on the internet. As you say, reading them on the computer would be a pain, but for people in other countries, this is sometimes the only option. Our books may be sold in some foreign countries, but not all, and even in English speaking Australia they can be tough to find. So I even understand why people would steal them and put them out there.
    But as with all good things, free books and cheap books mean eventually, you get what you pay for. Real authors will have to quit writing and start sacking groceries to pay the bills. So ultimately, the only thing available will be self-pubbed by people who don’t care if they get paid or not. (and I am not saying that’s what the e-book industry is now, just what the future might be)
    There are so many parameters to this messy ball of gell that I can’t begin to show them all, sorry!

    Reply
  91. Piper, I’m the one who brought up e-books so I thought I ought to be the one to answer, but really, the answer is so mixed up in technology that it’s not a simple reply. E-books can be encrypted so you can only read them on a certain type of reader (Sony just came out with one) or a certain kind of program on your computer or laptop. I think Harlequin even has some you can pick up on your cellphone. I think ultimately, when the handheld readers are developed and cheap enough, that will be the ultimate method. They have the technology to make them look like books with pages if you like, so I assume there will be all kinds of variety.
    The problem is that like music, e-books can not be locked up tight enough to keep people from copying. Already our books are being offered for FREE on the internet. As you say, reading them on the computer would be a pain, but for people in other countries, this is sometimes the only option. Our books may be sold in some foreign countries, but not all, and even in English speaking Australia they can be tough to find. So I even understand why people would steal them and put them out there.
    But as with all good things, free books and cheap books mean eventually, you get what you pay for. Real authors will have to quit writing and start sacking groceries to pay the bills. So ultimately, the only thing available will be self-pubbed by people who don’t care if they get paid or not. (and I am not saying that’s what the e-book industry is now, just what the future might be)
    There are so many parameters to this messy ball of gell that I can’t begin to show them all, sorry!

    Reply
  92. Piper, I’m the one who brought up e-books so I thought I ought to be the one to answer, but really, the answer is so mixed up in technology that it’s not a simple reply. E-books can be encrypted so you can only read them on a certain type of reader (Sony just came out with one) or a certain kind of program on your computer or laptop. I think Harlequin even has some you can pick up on your cellphone. I think ultimately, when the handheld readers are developed and cheap enough, that will be the ultimate method. They have the technology to make them look like books with pages if you like, so I assume there will be all kinds of variety.
    The problem is that like music, e-books can not be locked up tight enough to keep people from copying. Already our books are being offered for FREE on the internet. As you say, reading them on the computer would be a pain, but for people in other countries, this is sometimes the only option. Our books may be sold in some foreign countries, but not all, and even in English speaking Australia they can be tough to find. So I even understand why people would steal them and put them out there.
    But as with all good things, free books and cheap books mean eventually, you get what you pay for. Real authors will have to quit writing and start sacking groceries to pay the bills. So ultimately, the only thing available will be self-pubbed by people who don’t care if they get paid or not. (and I am not saying that’s what the e-book industry is now, just what the future might be)
    There are so many parameters to this messy ball of gell that I can’t begin to show them all, sorry!

    Reply
  93. Pat, thank you for explaining what I couldn’t, because I have had only the vaguest idea about e-books. I have heard from some readers who spend a lot of time on planes. They say it’s easier to transport e-books on their handheld readers, than carry a lot of books.
    CM, regarding the Bujold excerpts: I’ve been informed that this was not the author’s decision but the publisher’s. Still, it’s a good point, and I was glad of the reminder to post some excerpts of my new book on my website–when I can find a block of time to attend to my website.

    Reply
  94. Pat, thank you for explaining what I couldn’t, because I have had only the vaguest idea about e-books. I have heard from some readers who spend a lot of time on planes. They say it’s easier to transport e-books on their handheld readers, than carry a lot of books.
    CM, regarding the Bujold excerpts: I’ve been informed that this was not the author’s decision but the publisher’s. Still, it’s a good point, and I was glad of the reminder to post some excerpts of my new book on my website–when I can find a block of time to attend to my website.

    Reply
  95. Pat, thank you for explaining what I couldn’t, because I have had only the vaguest idea about e-books. I have heard from some readers who spend a lot of time on planes. They say it’s easier to transport e-books on their handheld readers, than carry a lot of books.
    CM, regarding the Bujold excerpts: I’ve been informed that this was not the author’s decision but the publisher’s. Still, it’s a good point, and I was glad of the reminder to post some excerpts of my new book on my website–when I can find a block of time to attend to my website.

    Reply
  96. Pat, thank you for explaining what I couldn’t, because I have had only the vaguest idea about e-books. I have heard from some readers who spend a lot of time on planes. They say it’s easier to transport e-books on their handheld readers, than carry a lot of books.
    CM, regarding the Bujold excerpts: I’ve been informed that this was not the author’s decision but the publisher’s. Still, it’s a good point, and I was glad of the reminder to post some excerpts of my new book on my website–when I can find a block of time to attend to my website.

    Reply
  97. Pat said “But as with all good things, free books and cheap books mean eventually, you get what you pay for. Real authors will have to quit writing and start sacking groceries to pay the bills. So ultimately, the only thing available will be self-pubbed by people who don’t care if they get paid or not.”
    Considering there are already far more people trying to make a living as romance authors than the market will allow, I can’t see this will ever happen. Who goes into writing thinking its going to be a big moneyspinner? The majority of us already work “sacking groceries to pay the bills” because we couldn’t afford to take the risk of a job like that that probably doesn’t pay a living wage.
    Sorry for being so crochety – it annoys me when people in the arts complain about the wages when they have a dream job in other ways. The money is so low BECAUSE its a great job and there are hundreds of talented people lining up behind you to do it. If you want a steady income, come and work in a boring office with me. You can’t have your cake and eat it. And neither can I unfortunately!

    Reply
  98. Pat said “But as with all good things, free books and cheap books mean eventually, you get what you pay for. Real authors will have to quit writing and start sacking groceries to pay the bills. So ultimately, the only thing available will be self-pubbed by people who don’t care if they get paid or not.”
    Considering there are already far more people trying to make a living as romance authors than the market will allow, I can’t see this will ever happen. Who goes into writing thinking its going to be a big moneyspinner? The majority of us already work “sacking groceries to pay the bills” because we couldn’t afford to take the risk of a job like that that probably doesn’t pay a living wage.
    Sorry for being so crochety – it annoys me when people in the arts complain about the wages when they have a dream job in other ways. The money is so low BECAUSE its a great job and there are hundreds of talented people lining up behind you to do it. If you want a steady income, come and work in a boring office with me. You can’t have your cake and eat it. And neither can I unfortunately!

    Reply
  99. Pat said “But as with all good things, free books and cheap books mean eventually, you get what you pay for. Real authors will have to quit writing and start sacking groceries to pay the bills. So ultimately, the only thing available will be self-pubbed by people who don’t care if they get paid or not.”
    Considering there are already far more people trying to make a living as romance authors than the market will allow, I can’t see this will ever happen. Who goes into writing thinking its going to be a big moneyspinner? The majority of us already work “sacking groceries to pay the bills” because we couldn’t afford to take the risk of a job like that that probably doesn’t pay a living wage.
    Sorry for being so crochety – it annoys me when people in the arts complain about the wages when they have a dream job in other ways. The money is so low BECAUSE its a great job and there are hundreds of talented people lining up behind you to do it. If you want a steady income, come and work in a boring office with me. You can’t have your cake and eat it. And neither can I unfortunately!

    Reply
  100. Pat said “But as with all good things, free books and cheap books mean eventually, you get what you pay for. Real authors will have to quit writing and start sacking groceries to pay the bills. So ultimately, the only thing available will be self-pubbed by people who don’t care if they get paid or not.”
    Considering there are already far more people trying to make a living as romance authors than the market will allow, I can’t see this will ever happen. Who goes into writing thinking its going to be a big moneyspinner? The majority of us already work “sacking groceries to pay the bills” because we couldn’t afford to take the risk of a job like that that probably doesn’t pay a living wage.
    Sorry for being so crochety – it annoys me when people in the arts complain about the wages when they have a dream job in other ways. The money is so low BECAUSE its a great job and there are hundreds of talented people lining up behind you to do it. If you want a steady income, come and work in a boring office with me. You can’t have your cake and eat it. And neither can I unfortunately!

    Reply
  101. Sorry! That was really whiny wasn’t it? Doing a lowpaid AND unfufilling job is making me somewhat bitter on this subject. I do agree with you at some basic level – if readers want to support particular authors then they should buy new.

    Reply
  102. Sorry! That was really whiny wasn’t it? Doing a lowpaid AND unfufilling job is making me somewhat bitter on this subject. I do agree with you at some basic level – if readers want to support particular authors then they should buy new.

    Reply
  103. Sorry! That was really whiny wasn’t it? Doing a lowpaid AND unfufilling job is making me somewhat bitter on this subject. I do agree with you at some basic level – if readers want to support particular authors then they should buy new.

    Reply
  104. Sorry! That was really whiny wasn’t it? Doing a lowpaid AND unfufilling job is making me somewhat bitter on this subject. I do agree with you at some basic level – if readers want to support particular authors then they should buy new.

    Reply

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