Tuesday, August 29, 2006
To answer . . .
A couple of you have raised questions, and since I have nothing original to say this morning, I think I'll answer them.
Accidental Poet asked which book about adoption Doni read--LOL! Actually, I don't remember, and Doni has just told me she's read 32 of my books. Since several of them have adoption threads, I honestly don't remember which one initiated her initial email to me.
Brittanie asked: I bought a Christian Fiction book today at Barnes and Noble. It was a steeple hill book that was in short fat paperbook style for $4.99. Do authors get paid less when they downsize the book from trade size $13.00. Just wondering?
Yes, Brittanie, the less you pay for a book, the less the author earns from the sale of that book. Books that are sold for deep discounts (at Costco, Sam's Club, etc), often earn the author virtually nothing. When you buy a used book or a book from a remainder bin, the author often gets nothing at all. If you buy a book from Crossings or other book clubs, the author gets no royalties. (The book club pays a flat fee to the publisher, and some of that is applied to the author's royalty account.)
So how do authors make a living? It isn't easy. They have to sell lots and lots and lots of books through the regular avenues--bookstores.
Do we mind those bargain books and wholesale outlets? Not necessarily, because sometimes people will buy a bargain book, like it, and come back for more. Picking up a new reader is a good thing.
However--used book sales do not count as a "sale" at the publishing house, and if a book does not sell enough copies, it will go out of print. Gone. Hasta la vista, baby. And that's kind of sad.
Also sad is the fact that lots of independent bookstores (especially Christian bookstores) find it difficult to stay in business because everyone now (even Starbucks!) is selling books. So if you find an author you enjoy, think about where you buy your books. Where you buy makes a huge difference.