May 032013
 

Please buy a book today.

It doesn’t have to be my book. It doesn’t have to be an expensive book.  It doesn’t even have to be a traditional book made out of paper, purchased at a bookstore. It could be an e-book. But please buy a book.

You see, most authors don’t make the bestseller lists. We don’t count our sales in the thousands, or even the hundreds. We count our sales by tens, and sometimes by ones – one more copy sold here, one more copy sold there. If not enough copies are sold, we don’t get the chance to have our work published again.

Publishing is a business, and publishers look at numbers. An author might have a very devoted, passionate fanbase, but if the sales aren’t there then that author may not be able to continue writing professionally.

Most writers do not make six-figure royalties.  We are lucky if we make enough to feed our kids. Every writer I know has either a day job or an extremely supportive partner or both, because you just can’t live off what you make writing.

And the truth is, authors don’t write to make tons of money. We write because we love it. All we want is to sell enough books so that we can keep doing what we love.

I know that the economy has changed, and bookstores have closed, and people just don’t have extra money in their pockets the way they used to. I know that the library is a wonderful place to discover new books for free.

And I know that it can be very tempting to get a free download online, and to justify it to yourself by saying that authors make lots of money and it doesn’t matter if one person gets a book for free.  The trouble is, it’s not usually one person, or even a dozen. It might be a hundred, or five hundred, or a thousand. And those copies that went unsold might mean that the author who wrote the book that you got for free doesn’t get another contract.

Writers want to write. We love to write, and we love to have readers reading what we wrote.  We’re not trying to get rich. We’re trying to live, just like you.

So please – if you love books, if you love to read, go out and buy a book today.  Thank you.