Pagan Book Clubs and Book Exchanges by Mail – A Better Suggestion?
I understand. Books have become outrageously expensive, especially in the current economy. It’s the high cost of paper that publishers pass along to readers, returned books that are so bruised that they can’t be sold in that condition and thus the cost is passed along to readers, and the 45 to 70% that the middle man gets, which is passed along to readers because otherwise it would cost the publisher just to sell the book. It’s no wonder many of pagan readers can’t afford $10 to $25 for a book.
Readers would be amazed to know that neither the author nor the publisher are making “grocery money” off most of these books at those prices because they just can’t stomach raising the prices any higher. So I understand when readers talk about book exchanges, even though I as an author will never see a penny of royalty for any reads a book gets after its first sale via a bookstore or publisher website. You know that happens. And Gods know, there are plenty of people who want me to send them a free book “to see if I get hooked on your work.”
Sigh. It’s no wonder so many of my favorite authors have stopped writing when confronted with the choice of feeding their children by working at Wal-Mart or writing the books they love but don’t get paid for. There’s only so much time in a day and most of us have bills to pay.
Several online friends were talking about a book club for pagans, from the readers’ point of view, and it made perfect sense as a reader. Then one said something that made me wonder. They mentioned exchanging books by mail, using media rate and how it would probably be less than $3 to send a book. Let’s say there’s another $.50 for an envelope if you can’t find a small box to recycle or have a free envelope.
So they’re willing to spend $3 to $3.50 for a book…with most of that money going to the US Postal Service and none to the author or publisher. Hmmmm. So here’s a—perhaps—better suggestion that’s greener because it doesn’t spend additional natural resources on transport or waste trees and if financially more favorable to authors.
If you’re interested in continuing to see your favorite authors writing books about your favorite subjects (rather than spending their writing time waiting tables or sweeping floors) and you’re willing to spend several dollars on a book’s TRANSPORTATION to you but wouldn’t think about it for the book, then please consider spending the same amount as you would on postage by buying one of their less expensive ebooks.
For example, if you’re a Prime member at Amazon, you can go right now and borrow pagan and spiritual ebooks from their lending library to be read on your kindle—and the author will get a small royalty that sends a signal to please keep writing.
Some examples you can read for free:
SHAYNE ON YOU (Maggie Shayne’s book that is so magickal and full of Law of Attraction!)
If you don’t have a kindle, you can download the kindle app for free and read ebooks on your computer, tablet, or smart phone.
Examples under $5—and yes, some are ones I’ve had a hand in because it’s easier to list quickly what I know about personally. In ascending order of price:
GIFTS FOR THE GODDESS ON A WARM SPRING MORN $3.50
If you are an author with a pagan, New Age, or spiritually eclectic book on Amazon or at another ebook site and it’s price is roughly the same as POSTAGE via media mail, please use the comment section below to list it. Tell us where we’ll find it and let us and our readers support your work!
Awesome post, Lorna. And thank you much for the plug for SHAYNE ON YOU.
I was trained by a high priestess who taught me that sharing spiritual teachings requires an equal exchange of energy to be really absorbed and appreciated. And expecting people to pay for their materials tells them you know they can do it. They’ll rise up to meet that expectation. Handouts (as a habit) are disempowering. Of course emergency situations come up. Exceptions abound. But to continue spoon feeding a baby until it is fourteen would serve the child not at all.
There Is another option! Well perhaps not for all, but in my County our local libraries are providing free loans through the Kindle App as well. It is quite simple, find out if your library participates. Download the app they are using (mine uses Overdrive, I assume there are others). Then key in your library card barcode and begin your search! I have been doing this since August. There are two choices, an audio book app or Kindle. I am not a fan of an audio book, plus post Hurricane Irene, the only light I had for several nights was my IPad.
I do not know how much authors get paid through this service, but I assume (or hope) thry get something.
The books are on loan, so one may not keep them, but it has been a Goddessend for me. I tend to go for mysteries with pagan themes and I am finding them.
Perhaps as a Publisher, you can reverse the process and find out what is required to have your books on their shelves? I hope it is worthwhile.
Yes, thank you! A librarian (not close to me) was telling me that her library is now using kindles and has been for much of 2011. I have books in the Kindle lending program–hoping to see it become more widespread. Participating authors get paid a small amount for lends, and I should know in the next few weeks if it’s worthwhile to continue.