Thursday, February 21, 2008

A bit of a buzz for me!

I was coming home from work this evening, waiting for a connecting bus at the bus station, when a lady from the village where I live shouted, "You've been on my mind this week!" I turned around expecting that she was speaking to someone behind me, but there was no one there.

Oh dear, I thought, what have I done?

"I couldn't remember your surname," she said enthusiastically, "I want to get your books from the library!"

So of course, I gave her the correct spelling of my full name and both books. Now you might think, what's the point of that because I'm not going to earn anything from it, but I think libraries are a good thing. I've taken out books by new authors and then gone on to purchase further copies of their books.

I know there are authors who don't like having their books sold in charity shops or passed around for others to read, but I'm not one of those. To be honest, I'm flattered when I'm told someone has enjoyed one of my books so much they've passed it on to their next door neighbour or posted it their daughter-in-law who lives on the other side of the world. As far as I'm concerned, my name is getting out there.

So, I hope that lady from the village manages to get both copies of my books and if she enjoys them, she'll tell others. After all, wasn't it Donald Maas that said: "It's not reviews that sell books but word-of-mouth."


Edward Yates said...

Neil Gaiman wrote something a bit similar. He sort of sees books from libraries or being passed along as being in peoples' minds as "an author I like" is a good thing works to his advantage. Neil also has a free book up on his site at the moment. Mind you he is a bestselling author. So what might be fine for a bestseller who has already had their share of success might not work great for other aspiring authors. I think there is a fine line between promotion and just giving it away for free too. At some point, no matter what kind of creative work you do, someone has to pay for it. Else there is no point being in the business of being creative. The web poses new challenges to this too, but at least people seem to prefer reading a hardcopy of a book still rather than an electronic version. Don't know. I do suppose that any author benefits from being in a library if it places them on the list of "authors I like" in someone's mind. I've thought about this a fair bit over the last few years...

Lynette said...

I'll check out Neil's site, Ed. I suppose he can well afford to give lots of his books away lol.

I totally agree with you about the fine line between promotion and giving away for free.

I'm a very 'write-for-cash' type of person when it comes to my non fiction work, but I've been very generous with my books. Not many people know that as well as selling my first two novels for the cancer charity, I also donated a couple of sets of books [around 60 I think] to help the charity.

I'm looking on it as being 'good karma' though.

Maybe now with my new book, 'A Taste of Honey' which is being sold totally for my own benefit, I might see some money flow my way for a change.

I'll let you know how it works out lol.


Edward Yates said...

Hi Lynette,

Some money flowing your way from creative work! *gasp* Shock horror!


No, but seriously it is so hard to make a living of creative works of any kind.

And certainly good karma from some charity work cannot go astray either.

Also a correction: Neil Gaiman did a poll as to which book people would want freely available - which is going to be available from the 28th. Not the one I would have chosen though...