Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Good Writers Read

I’ve read every book my friend Christine has written. I’ve bought them for friends and for my grandchildren as gifts. I buy her self-published books because this woman has an incredible depth of imagination, and because she often signs them for me. Another, more selfish reason, is that it helps the industry. Now, you may think I’m a little full of myself for thinking my pebble sized purchases are helping the Goliath publishing complex, but let me ask you this; do you buy books? How about your reading friends? If you have ten friends, family members or co-workers who each buy 20 books a year that’s 200 books. If each of those has ten friends and you multiply that out – well – you get the picture. But even if you don’t buy all the books you read, you are still helping.

The Library

Yup, I get many of my books from the library. I can’t afford to buy as many hard covers as I’d like, but I am totally addicted to reading. Most writers are. But don’t think that because you’re reading a lot of books from the library that you’re not helping writers. On the contrary, according to the ALA, (American Library Association), in 2009 publishers sold over 1.3 billion dollars worth of books to public, school, college & university, and special libraries. These books are acquired through your library’s collection development department and welcomes input from their users. Go ahead and make regular inquiries about books your library will be purchasing, putting in requests for your own choices. When the librarian reads her book reviews chances are she’ll look for the book you requested. The larger the library the more copies of single titles purchased. And – bonus— when your own book is published that librarian will remember you and let you do a book signing or help spread the word on your behalf.


I do this, too. My friends and I have a loosely formed book sharing group. One is able to regularly buy new hard covers (we love her), one has access to the high school library, and two of us regularly visit a very well stocked used book store. How does this help writers? Name recognition. Word of mouth is a powerful thing. So often a friend will give me a book by an author I’ve never read and if I like what I read, that author goes on the list and into my book purchasing budget.

What List?

Well, the list of new books I want to buy, of course. Nothing will stop me when I’ve made up my mind to buy a new book. I read reviews in my Sunday paper, confer with friends, and visit Amazon to read the reviews of strangers. And when the budget allows, I buy the book (to enjoy and then pass around). It’s essential for the people who love books to buy them. We, the readers, will keep we, the writers, in business. And never think we’re not important players in that arena.


  1. I appreciate so much the help you gave me with each of my books Sue and most especailly my last book, a solve it yourself mystery book. You seemed to know instantly what I was attempting to write while many writers don't comprehend this genre at all. Thanks again.

  2. Susan --

    Readling -- my favorite pasttime. I even have my own library in my basement :)


  3. Christine and Steve, I'm so glad this post touched a chord in you, my writer friends. I won't live long enough to read all the books I want to read, but I'm sure gonna try!

  4. Susan,

    Wonderful post! I too am an avid reader. But I hate to admit that even though I'm considered generous to a fault, I rarely swap books.

    I tend to be a bit territorial about my books and my music! lol

    Jennifer Brown Banks