Join 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