Did You Buy My Book?

For any author who has only recently published a book there’s that awkwardness in the beginning as we wait to see if our family and friends are actually going to buy our book. I mean, it’s out there, we have friends and family, so…..shouldn’t they buy our book? How’s an author to make a living if we can’t expect all our family and friends to support us? So come on, people, we authors want you all to pony up the dough for our books, right?

Wrong.

Realistically, not everyone we know has money in their budget to buy books. Hey, I’ve been there myself, with a mortgage to pay and three kids living at home. It’s not always easy to find the extra cash for such indulgences, let alone go spending it on ourselves instead of the kids. Sometimes a person’s financial situation has them in a headlock and they just can’t squeeze that piggy bank any harder.

But where there’s a will there’s a way. Maybe you don’t have the money to purchase books at this time, but you most surely can put in a request to the library, and sign that book out. Big deal you might be saying! How’s that supposed to help an author in any way?

Don’t forget, not only are you showing your support by reading our work but, authors do make royalties on library sales. It adds up. Putting in a request at a library for a book can prompt them to add it to their shelves. Making sure our books are stocked in as many libraries as possible is a good thing. But there’s more.

Have you heard of the Public Lending Rights? No. I bet many of the authors out there have.

Now I’m not sure if there’s an equivalent to this in the US so I can only speak to what applies here in Canada. If there are any US authors reading this perhaps you know.

Traditionally published authors can register their news titles with the PLR, and each year, I believe it’s eight, libraries are randomly checked for your titles. If it’s found in any of these libraries the author receives a payment. So if it’s found in all eight libraries, then the author receives 8X, seven libraries it’s 7X…and so on. The more libraries a book is in the larger the payment for the author. If it’s in all eight libraries, that adds up to a nice little bundle especially if an author has more than one title. Now, I know it’s not all about the money, but realistically, authors have to make a living too.

As the old saying goes, there’s more than one way to skin a cat, well there’s more than one way to help support an author without actually buying their book.

I can tell you right now, that for any author, we’re tickled pink to have others reading our work. Whether it’s a library rental or a purchase from a book store, we love to share what we’ve written with others.

Have you ever felt guilty about signing a book out from the library instead of purchasing it? Have you ever thought of putting in a request for a friend’s book so the library would get it in?

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12 Comments

  1. I agree, Laura, there are many ways to support writers other than buying their book. Telling others about it, borrowing from the library, requesting it be brought into your local library, searching for the book on Chapter computers and leaving up the screen so others can see it… :-) Every little bit helps.

    By the way, traditional and non-traditional writers benefit from their books being found the libraries. As long as you apply for an ISBN and a CIP and your book is in the library, payment is made. I publish non-traditionally and I received my first cheque this spring. Because I had only one book in one library in the year 2011, the payment wasn’t a lot, but it was apprecitated. Every little bit helps.

    As someone who is paying the mortgage, monthly bills and raising three kids, I understand the thin piggybank. I do occasionally get to buy a book, but I also help writers by promoting them at my blog, particularly local writers. I love spreading the news about thier books.

    By the way, I bought your book, and I still have it. If I go to Word on the Street, I’ll try and remember to bring it so you can sign it for me.

    Reply
    • I’m glad you pointed out that, as long as a book has an ISBN number you can regester the title. I do believe I knew that, but thought otherwise when I was writing this post. :)

      It would be a thrill for me to see you at WOTS, I’ll be mingling around, trying to get photos, and meet new authors. Last year was a blast. Hope to see you there!

      Reply
  2. I didn’t know that about the library book system. they were just books, there was no thought of how it got there. but now I know. sadly libraries are closing and it’s hard to get to one from where I am.

    I did brought Bittersweet but gave it away after I read it. I like the idea of someone else reading it after me.

    hope you have a great day.

    Reply
    • Authors love libraries. Sadly, many are closing. It’s such a shame as it provides a wonderful service.

      You’re so sweet to have bought my book,.. :) Giving it to someone else to read is such a nice things to do. Books that sit on our books shelves often only get read once. :)

      Reply
  3. Angela Wilson

     /  September 10, 2012

    What’s the name of the book, Laura\/

    Reply
    • No worries, Angela. You did buy my book. :) I’m still waiting for the next one to make it into the publisher’s schedule. Keeping my fingers crossed for next fall so stay tuned!

      Reply
  4. That’s cool. I didn’t know that about libraries. Now I can feel better about checking books out of the library instead of turning my pockets inside out and saving my pennies to buy them. Whenever a new book by my favorite author comes out, I’m always the first one to put it on hold at the library, and I certainly raise a stink if the library doesn’t carry it!

    Reply
    • That’s wonderful, Julie! We authors love libraries, and yes, you’re still helping to support them. It’s a win/win situation. :)

      Reply
  5. I live here and I didn’t know about the library. And I didn’t know you had 3 kids still at home. I have 1 and 1 more coming home as soon as he gets out of the hospital. I’m going to check this out right now. Thanks, Laura!

    Reply
    • Joylene, if your books aren’t rgistered with the Public Lending Rights, you really need to look into it. Once a book is registered your good to go. I think registration is during a certain time of the year, just Google their site to find out more. Your books can go on making money for you long after the royalties dwindle.

      Na, the three kids at home was from years past. Heaven help me, I love them to pieces but they’re not prepared to live with me again. ;)

      Reply
  6. Yes, I most certainly bought your book! And it is “author signed” .. yay! :)

    I used to borrow books from the library in town but it is rare for me to get there anymore. Now that I know it’s still of benefit for the author, that might change when I can’t spare the money for a book I want to read.
    Thanks for this information, Laura. It’s great having you back.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Lynn! It’s great to be back. I’m still very busy writing, but trying to take some time out for blogging. I sometimes wish there were two of me, but I guess many of us think the same thing. ;)

      Reply

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