Dear Readers: It’s not you, it’s me

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?

14 thoughts on “Dear Readers: It’s not you, it’s me”

  1. I so agree that with the statement and that its my money to spend my money on what ever way for the book.

    Maybe ms Carriger is upset that her book cover is crappy , and should have mentioned it to her publisher.

  2. Great post MinnChica! I still haven’t gotten over yesterday’s shock. In my dazzled confusion and hurt it was good to see that authors reacted just the same way I did and were outraged by that post and its message. Not only did Gail Carriger’s message anger me, but unfortunately it also saddened me: I have the Parasol Protectorate on my shelves, waiting to be read, have heard great things about it, but now my enjoyment will be tainted. I will be reading it knowing what the author did, said and thinks. And I don’t know if the novels will be able to make me forget that. I’m sad, because with her post she ruined not only my opinion of her but my possible enjoyment of her poor novels, and as a book lover, that is a great crime in my eye 🙁

  3. @Julie – Who knows? All I know is that she was way out of line. Her post was rude and quite honestly, uncalled for.

    @Susi – Agreed! There are so many other authors out there who would LOVE my business, and they will probably get it.

    @Stella – Many times an authors attitude can taint the way I view books, and I have to say, I probably wont even try and pick these up. 🙁

  4. DEAD TREE BOOKS!!! How incredibly rude! I saw Jane’s tweets re Carriger and wow, I instantly put her on my do-not-ever-bother-to-follow-recommend-read-nor-ever-buy list.

  5. This article definitely upset me. I don’t like being told how to buy books. I know authors are under a lot of stress, but they must know these types of posts are not going to help them…right?

  6. @Insane Hussein – I hear ya. I have about ZERO shelf space for dead tree books, why would i clutter my already cluttered house when my ereader is so neat and tidy?

    @Mandi – Who knows… When I need to rant and rave, believe me I blow up at times, but I always, ALWAYS run it by someone before blurting it out, posting it, whatever. A second set of eyes or ears can really make or break ya!!

  7. Alana Caldwell

    I found this blog on twitter. Thank you so much for the information I now know to watch out for authors like her. I can’t believe the gall of that woman, telling someone how to buy a book. My eye is going to start twitching it just upsets me she would do that to loyal readers.

  8. Very well said hun, I had a massive wtf moment here as well because I still buy “dead tree books” but I have only ever bought books that I want and because I don’t make THAT much I’m sorry but I’m not going to go out and but two print copies of my favourite author….no.

    Notice the authors that do deserve their books up be bought a million times over would never say this…is it because they do it for the love of writing? or maybe they’re just smart enough not to do this. I hate it when authors do this because it makes he not want to read their books no matter how good they are…too bad I’ve already wasted my money on her first book…

  9. @Alana – Thanks for stopping by, I hope you’ll visit with us more often! I’m with you on the eye twitching. I even had steam coming out of my ears at one point! 🙂

    @Amanda – Yea, the buying two copies thing was a total WTF moment for me!

  10. I hear you! The post telling readers how to buy, when to buy, where to buy, what format to buy and HOW MANY COPIES TO BUY was ridiculous.

    But it did help me prune my “to-buy” list. I’d rather buy new and support authors who appreciate their readers.

  11. I don’t appreciate anyone telling me how to spend my money. I still like print books, but I have a Kindle with MANY books ready to go. Price dictates what I do buy. I also am a regular library goer. I buy books when I can, after an author has proven himself to me.
    I came over from Dear Author, and I think I’ll come back.

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