Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Libraries are Money! (or Arrrr, Matey!)

Tip of the Day: If you are subbing for pubbing, it's a great idea to meet your agent in person if you haven't before. So much fun, even in a rushed weekend of SCBWI-ing and sight seeing! More updates on the conference with pics next week, once I have a chance to organize my thoughts.

Laurie Halse Anderson recently posted her thoughts on how book piracy sucks. Also here. Her answer to the naysayers who shout, "But I can't afford books! And you want me to read your book, right?" is to go to the library and check the books out there. And if the library doesn't have the book, find a librarian and make the suggestion that they purchase it.

As a librarian, I say YES, PLEASE DO!

And to the naysayers who shout, "What's the difference between checking out a book from the library and downloading it from a pirate site online for free? I'm not paying for either one!" I say the following regarding public libraries:

1) Every time a patron comes into my library, it counts as a statistic. And good stats = good fodder for keeping good budgets so we can keep buying lots of materials.

2) Every time a patron recommends a book and we purchase it, and then the book is checked out, each check out counts as a good stat. See above.

3) Every time a patron recommends a book and we purchase it, us librarians can then recommend it to more and more patrons. Each patron who checks it out is another good stat.

Then on the author's income side...

4) If the recommended book is enjoyed by library patrons, word of mouth between the readers can cause more and more peeps to buy the book themselves...

5) Which can cause the library system to buy more books...

6) Which can cause more royalties for the author.

So in summary, checking a book out from the library DOES provide potential "income" for both the library (in the form of stats which can support the library's year-to-year budgets) and the author (in the form of more book sales to libraries and patrons).

I was young once. I had my days of Napster "free" music downloads and bootlegged PC software in the broke college years. But for real, now that I know better I wish I'd checked out more music from my public library and used the software at the computer lab. OK, OK, I still don't think Bill Gates needs my money, but think of all the people who work for BG, or for those who work for BG's workers, or who work in PC software sales and marketing and and and....well, you get the idea. It all trickles down.

Some day I'd like to work as a librarian part-time and as a writer full-time (instead of the present opposite ratio). In order for that to happen, I'll need royalties! And I'll need a library budget! Please don't steal, matey!

Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing


Kate Fall said...

Very awesome post, Deena! Thanks for the librarian's insider view.

Alissa said...

As a former librarian, a library sales rep and an author, I could not agree more!

Jenn Ashworth said...

As a former full time public librarian and a current full time writer, I totally agree with this. :)