and a quick follow-up

Here’s something I wanted to add to the last post, but I decided it deserves a little space of its own:

If you want to buy a book, don’t wait until you see the author at a festival or event before buying a book that you want. Buy them from bookstores and from online retailers that you trust. Doing so creates a small but measurable “up-tick” in the indicators of popularity that publishers and distributors notice. This goes a long way toward keeping a book in print. Buying a book direct from the author does not necessarily help support the author. When I attend a festival, I have to buy my books from my distributor, and then re-sell them for a small mark-up. If I do not sell enough, perhaps because I over-estimated how many I could sell, then I am left holding the bag for hundreds of dollars. If I am about to be late with the rent that month, that shortfall can really hurt. So, while I might make slightly more money per unit by selling books personally, my long-term interests as a writer are better served by people buying books in shops and through online retailers, or directly from the publisher.

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