I also realized as I look at those rows and rows of books that I don’t mind. Of course I’d like to sell a ton of books, but I also realize the value of free (or inexpensive) samples. There’s a population of readers who aren’t “cheap” people, but for whom buying books at full price is a luxury. Part of me can’t begrudge them the experience of getting lost in a story.
Occasionally in my town, our library has a used book sale to benefit the library so it can purchase more books. Volunteers cover all the tables of the library’s meeting room with every kind of book imaginable (except the ones fit to be covered with discreet brown paper wrappers, I was told). And most of the time I try to remember to show up and support them. As an author, I realize that all these books were once sold brand-new and the author received royalties on that sale. But what about now? They don’t.
And truly, what place did we get most of our reading done as kids–and then try to escape from? The library, where we can read for free.
Those free or cheap sample books can lead to future sales for those authors whose books covered the tables.
The more books I have written and the more books I’ve read, I am quick to recognize the inspirational romance titles scattered throughout the tables for the used book sale. It’s exciting!
I’ve even found one or two of my titles there–and I really don’t mind! I look forward to knowing that maybe someone else will pick up one of my books and take it home, even if they only pay 25 cents for it.
The town library invited me to be their guest speaker one February for their volunteer appreciation dinner. Let me tell you, library people make authors feel like rock stars. And I owe a lot of my writer’s journey to people like them. So I don’t begrudge them for selling used books, because, like most book lovers, I’m one of the readers stepping up to find a new author myself.
Even with the tidal wave of ebooks available online, there’s something special about picking up a “real” printed book and diving into those pages.
Do you like to go to used book sales?
If so, what new-to-you authors/books have you discovered that you’ve come to enjoy?