Do you think of books and authors as a business?

February 9, 2017 Fun Questions 6

Fun Questions LogoJoin me as I ask a Fun Question that’s been on my mind. I’ll give you my take, but I really hope you’ll jump in with your answers too, since I’m really curious to know what my fellow readers and bloggers think! So today’s question is…

Do you think of books and authors as a business?

This question began formulating in my head about a month ago when I read Brandee’s post about Cliffhangers & Ratings. She was talking about how some people give 1 star ratings on books that they otherwise enjoyed because of a cliffhanger. Lots of great thoughts and comments on this post, so you should check it out. Especially because that’s no what I’m talking about here. It’s just what got me thinking….

Sometimes I think we forget that books and authors are not just artists and entertainment – they are business people with a product to sell. A product to sell in a sea full of competitors. The best key to success? Creating a loyal (and hopefully large) fanbase. Of course there’s lots of ways to do this and a combination of efforts – from well-written books to fan interactions – are key.

But a good cliffhanger is a good way to get people to buy book 2. Or 3. And so on. Personally I’m okay with cliffhangers, but for those that don’t like the wait between books – why not just wait for the next book to be out? Because a cliffhanger – when the story is complete otherwise – doesn’t diminish a book’s quality. And if it makes you want to buy the next book, then it’s done it’s job. Because author’s need to make a living, y’all!

I know it’s not first and foremost in my mind, but I do think about my favorite authors, especially the indie ones in my purchasing decisions. Indie authors spend so much on publishing a book, they need a certain amount in sales before they even break even! So, while I borrow books from friends and the library frequently or wait for it to come to paperback. Or look for it a half-price books (Because I can’t afford my book habit if I buy every book on release day) I’m aware that pre-orders and release day sales help my authors. And bottom line: I want them to be able to afford to keep writing!

This also impacts me when it comes to my reviews. I’ve gotten so that I don’t post all my reviews to amazon… because I kept getting nasty comments either from fans (on my more critical reviews) or from haters (on my more glowing reviews). But I’m willing to weather that storm for indie authors that I know need a certain number of reviews to earn ad space or run promotions, for example.

Y’all don’t even get me started on pirating books! It’s stealing, plan and simple. Borrowing books is fine. Library is great. But pirating hurts an author so badly – financially and, I’m sure, emotionally too. They’ve created this literary art and because we don’t value their work and are entitled, we think it’s okay to steal it? NO! I’ll be the first to admit that, out of ignorance years ago, I downloaded a book online and thought, “wow, how cool! The book for free!” Once I realized that it wasn’t a free download from the author but an illegal download (I didn’t even know that happened at the time), I felt so guilty, I bought 5 copies of the book- kept 1 and donated the other 4 to the library. So if you’ve done this out of ignorance – you’re in good company (assuming I’m good company lol!). Just recognize your error and don’t do it again (and if you can in anyway, make it right).

I don’t want to ruin my reading experience by making it all business, BUT I do think that it’s a good thing to keep in mind. I think we should make informed decisions in our book reading habits. We love our books and authors, so let’s value them and respect that they are also a business.

Do you think of books and authors as a business?

Berls wants you to step back & remember, books are a business! Click To Tweet Follow on Bloglovin


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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

6 Responses to “Do you think of books and authors as a business?”

  1. Greg

    That’s a very good point, and as we know so many authors don’t make a living from their books but have to have a regular job besides. that’s assuming they even make it to being an author lol. And like Katherine mentiond above I definitely think more about the buisiness side of books now after blogging. It really opens our eyes I think to the realities of publishing.
    Greg recently posted…How Will I Know You?My Profile

  2. Lola

    Good point! As I am a tour organizer and do assistant work for two authors I often see authors as a business as well. But I do realize I probably have a unique point of view because of that. I know writing books takes a lot of time and money and it’s hard to stand out. It’s also one of the reasons I try to price my services affordable as I know how many indie authors struggle.

    And like you said a cliffhanger is a good way to get people to buy the next book, although on the other hand there also seem to be some people who don’t read cliffhanger books on principle, whom you would lose. But I figure there are more people who still buy the book.

    I always post my reviews on amazon nowadays and hardly have gotten nasty comments. But maybe that’s because I mostly read indie books. I reviewed a more well known book last year and got a reply from someone. I decided to just ignore that one, but that’s probably the only comment I’ve gotten last year. Indie authors are also why I started posting my reviews on amazon when i realized what a big help it was for authors and how many promo sites require them to have X amount of reviews etc.

    And buying books does help the author be able to write more books, it’s good to remember that now and then. I got a big gift cards end last year and I’ve even been buying a few books for 0.99$ that I got review copies of as I want to support the authors and it helps to have my review show up as verified. Great post! It is important to think of this now and then.
    Lola recently posted…Review: A Cowboy to Keep by Karen RockMy Profile

  3. Bookworm Brandee

    Awesome post, Berls! I don’t think I’d ever considered whether or not I think of authors as a business in those terms but of course I was aware that they write not only because they have stories to tell but also to make a living – or to try to anyway. I’m very sensitive to that fact and I respect it, both for traditionally published authors and indies. I do pay more attention to reviews, purchasing books, etc. with indies though because they don’t have the publishing house behind them. I post and cross-post my reviews because I know it matters to them. (I’ve never gotten negative comments…is that weird?!?) And I think you know my feelings on cliffhangers. 😉 So while I don’t think of books and authors in terms of “business”, I do acknowledge the business behind it. I’m so happy to have sparked this post! 🙂

    It’s Thursday, my friend….ready for the weekend?!? {{{BIG HUGS}}}
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts #58My Profile

  4. Priya Dutta

    Basically there are two types of people one who write books for the passion they have and another one who want to run their livelihood. Some of the publishers are being funded to publish the new books and indie is one of my fav. there are some upcoming books coming on Easter Sunday 2017 (, excited to see it launch

  5. Katherine

    I don’t think it ever occurred to me to think of books as a business until I started blogging but that’s definitely changed now! I don’t read many indies but the ones I do I really try to review as many places as I can and I do that for books or authors that don’t seem to get as much attention as I should. I have started paying more attention to where I get books as well. I can’t afford to buy every book I want to read (nor do I have the storage!) but I do try to buy favorite authors and do more library checkouts than used books.
    Katherine recently posted…Close to Home – Contemporary Romance ReviewMy Profile

  6. Jonetta (Ejaygirl)

    Great topic, Berls!

    I definitely think of this as a business, particularly for indie authors. Most of my books come from the library or directly from authors and publishers for review. However, I’ve got a list of indie authors whose books I prefer to buy to help them out. I pre-order their books and make them a priority to read and reviewclose to the release dates. I want them to keep writing so I’ve a vested interest in their success. I promote their new releases without being requested to do so and they know they don’t have to request a review.

    It’s a tough, competitive book world out there and good writers need to be supported in the right ways. Buy or library borrow their books! They get compensated for library rentals.
    Jonetta (Ejaygirl) recently posted…Playing by the Rules by Reese RyanMy Profile

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