In my last post, I said, "If you buy all your books online or exclusively use the library, try buying the occassional book at your local bookstore." I want to make sure you know how passionately I feel about libraries. If you get all your books at libraries, good for you! I just wanted to suggest thinking about purchasing a book from a brick-and-mortar store in order to help keep them around as literary centers, vibrant businesses that improve your local economy, and means to attract author visits for your neighborhoods and schools. I used to get all my books at a library and just purchase those I really loved to keep or gift. Then I became an author and felt empathy for other people's books and started spending a lot of time in bookstores and got greedy and had to have all the books on my shelves whenever I wanted so I could read them on a whim because I am whim-ish. But still, libraries are awesome. Libraries=democracy.
The difference is MASSIVE.
1. Downloading a book you didn't pay for is theft. It's illegal. It's unethical. It's rude. Would you slip a novel into your purse at a store and sneak out? If your answer is yes, then SHAME ON YOU, POO-POO HEAD! But likely your answer is no, because most people don't shoplift. And most people are not poo-poo heads. (Please don't tell my kids I said "poo." That's a bathroom word.)
2. Libraries keep track of circulation. When a librarian is considering purchasing a new book by an author, she will check to see how well his previous books circulated in her library. How often his backlist books were checked out determines how many of his new book she'll purchase, if any. When you check out books at the library, you are supporting that author's future books. Many authors don't have good enough sales in bookstores to support future publications, and it's only thanks to the library as a book buyer that their books can get published. (Librarians, can I get a hey-hey? Or a nay-nay if I'm wrong. You can correct me. I promise not to call you a poo-poo head.)
3. When you download pirated ebooks, you are supporting no one, not the author, the publisher, the editor, the cover artist, the publicist--any of the dozens of good people who worked so hard to bring that book about. You are being greedy and lazy and selfish. My goodness, Ms. Hale, so much name calling in this post! What has gotten into you? Sometimes it just feels good to be declarative.
Also, I declare (randomly) that Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers is a fabulous, week-long, intestive conference and workshop for writers in Sandy, Utah every June. Some of the workshops (like Holly Black's, Ann Cannon's, and Martine Leavitt's) have already sold out. If you're a writer and need a kickstart, this is an excellent choice.
As you were.