(This was originally a blog post from February 2013, but has turned into the “Support an Author” campaign. You can do this too!)
It’s Valentine’s Day. Love, love, love. And today, I’m thinking about the authors I love and wondering how they’re doing.
I’ve been a published author since 2009. And while I am finally starting to make a little money off this job, “little” is the key word. If my husband didn’t have a job that could pay our bills, I wouldn’t be able to write.
There are a lot of misconceptions out there that authors are rich. This is not true. Authors work very hard for nothing for years, in hopes that someday, a publisher will buy their book. The same is true of all the arts whether you paint, do photography, or write music and sing. You work hard at your craft, you put yourself out there, and you hope that something might take off.
But hitting the New York Times Bestseller List is rare, and even then, the royalties might not be enough to pay the bills. Sad, but true.
I guess that why they call them “starving artists.”
I say all this not to gain your sympathy, but to motivate you. There are lots of ways to get books free these days whether you get review copies, win contests, check them out at your local library, or pirate them (Bad, readers!). But I know authors who get emails from fans asking when their next book is coming out and the author says, “I don’t know. My sales were too low, and the publishers aren’t interested right now.”
And this is from authors with fans who love their books.
So, if you have a favorite author, I encourage you to buy at least one new copy of his or her books. Show your support by helping their career. Because, sadly, it’s not enough that readers like an author’s books. If no one will buy them, that author might not get to keep writing.
I’m not asking you to buy every book, but to buy a book new here and there, especially books by your favorite authors. Used books don’t help them. The stores need to know which authors sell.
I’m doing this too. As part of my new Support an Author plan, whenever I can, I’m going to host giveaways and purchase the prize books new from Barnes and Noble’s website. Join me in supporting the authors you love.