As sad and horrible as this may sound, I expect authors to behave badly. I know that at least two or three times a month I’ll read something that will have me shaking me head in disbelief. But the occasional time comes around when an author says something so outrageous, so annoying that I find myself scratching their name down on my DO NOT BUY EVER list.
Yesterday, Gail Carriger posted about ways that a reader can help her with her sales. I just want to say first and foremost, if an author is ever telling you as the reader HOW, WHERE or WHICH FORMAT to buy their books, please, PLEASE disregard them. Second, if they are giving you information that they are stating is fact, verify the information before you take it at face value.
I love to read. It’s my number one hobby, the second biggest love of my life (behind my hubby), and probably the one thing I spend the most of my hard earned money on. I go to work 5 days a week and sit behind a desk for 9 hours a day to EARN that money. I do so to pay my bills, put gas in my car, and food on my table. Whatever I have after all that is taken care of is mine to do with as I please. If I want to go back and buy a backlist book on my nook from 2001, who the hell are you to tell me that is wrong. I worked damn hard for that money, and I will spend it however, wherever, and on whatever I want. Period. End of story.
There is a lot of information (and misinformation) out there regarding ebook sales, the New York Times bestseller lists, and how it all gets reported. Jane over at Dear Author has a great post up today about what is and is not verified with these issues. I also want to point out that just this past year, Maya Banks was listed on the NYT ebook bestseller list for her Samhain (ebook only) release Colter’s Daughter. Ebook sales DO get reported to the NYT list. If you are buying ebooks, please don’t feel guilty for doing so. Again, it’s your money to do with as you wish.
To answer the question of what is the best way to help the authors, it’s easy. Stay away from piracy! If money is tight, head over to your local library. If they don’t have what your looking for, ask them to purchase it. Try a used bookstore. Ask your friends if you can borrow their books! If you can afford to buy the book and you enjoyed it; talk about it, post a review, scream it out on Facebook or Twitter. Tell everyone you know. There are plenty of ways to get your hands on a book legally, and as readers, that is the best thing we can do for our favorite authors!
Good books will find and hook their own followers. Authors should know that success is not overnight, especially in the publishing industry. Loyal readers take time to grow and cultivate. But when you guilt your readers into buying a book in a certain way, it wont guarantee you a spot on the NYT listing. In fact it will probably harm and hinder your chances as readers talk about authors behaving badly. Readers love to support authors, but when the choice is between an author who has insulted us versus one who hasn’t… Who do you think will get our sale?
I just want to say to Ms. Carriger and other authors who are thinking of posting something similar to this. I am your consumer. It’s because of my hard earned money that you are able to continue to write your books and make a living. Telling me how I should go about and do that is just going to cause me to have negative feelings about your books in the future. So when I’m in Barnes & Noble next, looking around at what I can get, seeing your book isn’t going to inspire me to pick it up. Someone else might be willing to still pick you up, but continue to put us down like this, and you might run out of loyal followers. Then what will you do?