If, like me, you don't have that much money and have already sold your soul several times over (whoever collects first gets the prize! My bet is on Goodreads - I think I owe them about 3 souls,) then you can still support authors and the wider publishing/bookish industry my nerdlets!
...You just have to be a bit more inventive about it.
Firstly, there is nothing better for books than a good ol' fashioned library.
Sit down and let me explain how libraries help not hurt the publishing industry:
- If your country's library system is like the UK's, then the author gets a very small fee every time you borrow a book. This works up to a cap of about £6000 or £7000, but hell, every little helps.
- Libraries actually have to buy the books they lend out (true story,) which means if an author proves popular (i.e. is borrowed a lot,) then the library is more likely to buy copies of that author's books in the future.
- You can 'try before you buy' - some books I just wouldn't've bought if I didn't already know that I like the book/author because I've borrowed their work from the library.
- Libraries are free marketing! - nothing works better than word of mouth, and covers on display. Never underestimate the power of copies on shelves - books can reach a wider and wider audience if there are people actually reading them.
- Libraries make readers happen - get that child in there asap!
That's all well and good, but how else can we support authors when we're broke?
- You can yell at your friends and family to READ THE BOOK.
- You can ask friends and family for the book for birthdays, Christmases, or
as ransom paymentother occasions.
- You can follow your favouritest authors on social media/RT, like, re-blog, share, and generally spread the word about the author and their work.
- You can write reviews on your own blog, Amazon, Goodreads, or wherever, and promote your review on social media. Talking about books is awesome, and does half the work. The more people are interested, the more people will buy books.
- You can add the book to your TBR, or your 'read' list, on Goodreads - this means your friends on there will see that you've added it, and might check it out themselves.
Will that £5.00 for a back-list title mean more, to a smaller publisher, than the £15.00 price tag of the new bestseller does, to a bigger one? (Obviously, substitute your own currency where necessary.)
Money talks in this world my friends (sigh) so use your purchasing power wisely.
J. K. Rowling's new book is always going to sell millions of copies - if you want her new book (man, I want Harry Potter and the Cursed Child!) then ask for it for your birthday.
A debut novelist at a small or niche publisher? Far less likely to sell. So every copy counts. Buy that copy while you have the cash in hand.
But don't let people make you feel bad for not supporting the industry enough. You know how much you can afford - they don't.
If it wasn't for review copies, library books, and second-hand stores, I honestly don't think I'd be able to draw attention to so many books, and help other readers find the books they'll enjoy.
I don't blog for the books (I didn't even know there were review copies when I started - little naïve creature that I was,) but I'm firmly of the opinion that if publishers want the publicity that bloggers can bring, then they need to understand that we can't afford to buy every book vying for our attention.
But even if you're not a blogger, you can do your part.
I'm not asking for much - in fact, if you want to get your paws on all those books, I've probably just saved you some cash.
Just think about how you spend your money, and if you find a good book, don't be afraid to talk about it! (But if you don't want to, then meh - do your own thing!)
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