Monday, August 21, 2006

Buying Books

This is a link to a posts that has been making the blogging rounds. Susan Gable makes a good case for buying new books.

I love books. Before I started writing reading was my main leisure time activity. Writing made me cut back - a little. My book budget now runs in the mid-four figures. Yes, I have an active library card. Yes, I sometimes buy used. Yes, I sometimes get book presents. I don't drink, smoke or gamble - I read. There's no use pretending it's not a vice. Other's talk about their TBR piles - mine runs to bookcases. Believe it or not I've met people who read more than I do.

As an admitted book slut, I still have standards. I buy no more than a dozen new hardbacks a year. I keep the autobuy list ruthlessly pruned, disappointment me twice and you're dropped. So what are all these books that I have to own? There are the category romance novels my library doesn't carry. There are the autobuys. There are research books I must have handy. There are the books I know I want to read, but don't have time to read right now - these must be purchased since the libary has limits on how long I can monopolize a hot title.

What with reading a couple of hundred books a year for entertainment and or enlightenment, tossing in the reference works, and market research titles I have a tough time sticking to even an extravagant book budget.

The point of the article I started out writing about, before I got carried away blogging on about my out of control reading habit, was that we should buy new to support our favorite authors. A pointless plea IMHO. We can't all be bestsellers. It's not going to work. There have to be lots more readers than writers to make this system work.

Harlequin caught on a while back to how common the urge to become a romance writer afflicts yet another of their loyal readers. What angst that must have caused in marketing. They hit upon the best possible solution for them, cheer on their aspiring fans! Help them, offer them forums, message boards, contests, articles, advice, even a critique service. Their first, last and frequently stressed advice? Read the lines.

So how does a poor author rise above the sea of mid-list authors out there? Is it brilliant writing, timing, fairy dust? None of that hurts. But does it guarantee success? Nope sorry, truly I'm very sorry. I've read excellent authors, award winning brilliant authors, beloved authors who've never gotten near the best seller list.

So what makes a break out novel? Reader connection. It's not necessarily the best written book - though good writing is a prerequisite. The writers who are staples on the best seller list do not disappoint. What's more, their stories connect with the reader. They cross genres because fickle readers like different things on different days. It is the author who gives us chills, thrills, tickles, teaches or makes us sigh that we shell out our hard-earned dollars for.


Blogger April said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:59 AM  
Blogger April said...

I did not mean to erase my own comment... Sorry :-).

Synopsis: My hubby was happy when I started writing because it cuts into my reading time, therefore cutting into my book buying :-)

10:11 AM  
Blogger Evanne said...

Glad to hear from a sister book addict. :)

Thanks for stopping by April!

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You make a valid point, but since I now have a tbr stack as well, and an itty bitty budget, I am going to have to accept that I'm on the bad girl list. I like a lot of authors, love a few, and only have one, actually two when you sell, on the autobuy list. How does it feel to be one of two, the other JG? :)
P.S. Great blog post, btw.

11:36 AM  

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