Saturday 7 August 2021

FAQ: What's the best way to buy the book?

More than one sweetheart has asked, "What's the best way to buy the book?" 

I usually answer: "Well, what's best for you?" 

Then, bless'em, sweethearts persist: "But I mean, how can I show my support the best?"

The easiest answer is an analogy and cliche; all roads lead to Rome.

To elaborate, buying my books via any method is always a show of support (so is lending them from a library, I hasten to add), and whatever works for you will help -- the different methods of purchase help in different ways. If you're someone who considers buying a book another chore to add to a busy life, then you should go with whatever method means it happens. If you find all of the methods about the same and/or really want to know how you can be the best fan ever, here's your Buyer Pick-a-Path.

You can buy to...

Support my... REACH

Buying from an independent bookstore keeps the book on shelves. If books don't move for too long, the title ceases to be stocked because shelf space is precious! If you pick up a copy from a bookstore, you're ensuring its continuation in that spot, and keeping books in bookstores helps reach new bookstore browsers and traditional brick-and-mortar buyers. There's also the huge added bonus of supporting local business instead of overseas competition.

Support my... RANK

Buying from online biggies affects online rankings. These retailers take a percentage of the sales as middle-people, (so less profits and less revenue for NZ), but with enough sales, books can achieve rankings which eventually generate sales in and of themselves. Getting a book in the Top 100 of a category on one of these sites only happens if people buy via these sites. In addition to assisting rankings, buying from these places is also convenient for some people (though bear in mind, many NZ Indie Bookstores will ship to you too -- so if going out and parking and all that jazz is the deterrent, but you want to Buy Local, you still might be able to have the best of both). 

Support me... EARNING

If you're after a paperback, buying directly from the publisher will give the most profit back to the me -- this minimises middle-people (no bookshop with rent and staff, no giant online entity with staff etc.).  There is no wrong place to order from though, truly, I'm sharing for those who insist they want to know. It's also worth noting: authors receive a greater percentage of eBook sales but eBooks sell for less overall.

To be clear, none of these methods will make me rich.  Until millions of units are being sold, authors are not rich. But (most) authors aren't in this for the money, so that's why I return again to: do what works for you. All support is support.  THANK YOU.

Five other incredible ways to support an author:

  1. Leave a review. Leave reviews multiple places, if you're feeling generous. Reviews are life.
  2. Request the book at your library. They'll likely buy it and then it'll be on the shelves there for others after you!
  3. Request the book at a bookstore when you can't find it on the shelves -- show the bookstore buyers there's interest for the book.
  4. Gift the book. If you're not a reader OR you want to do more than buy just one copy, gift the eBook or paperback to someone else. It could be shipping straight to them even. Or bought traditionally in a bookstore and given. 
  5. Share stuff about the book on social media. You can take a picture of yourself reading the book and share to your Instagram OR just hit "share" in your FB feed without even having bought it. Spreading the word is support too.