Why the Fighting? What World are We Creating for Future Readers & Writers?

"The Starving Artist" by Garrett courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons.

“The Starving Artist” by Garrett courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons.

Since starting this blog back in 2008, I’ve often placed myself square in the crosshairs of critics. Why? Because I’m willing to be unpopular in order for things to change. I step up and say something super unpopular…then things level out because folks go, Oh, wow, maybe Kristen wasn’t completely crazy.

I think this latest kerfluffle regarding me and used bookstores is an interesting event for all of us to study because the digital age is now giving birth. To what? No idea. I think that’s why we need to be actively involved and these are conversations we need to start having.

No one likes talking about money, but we need to. Bookstores need to talk about it. Publishers need to talk about it and writers need to talk about it and none of us are whining when we do it.

Lines are being drawn and there seems to be this belief we must choose sides. That is dangerous because the digital age is so vast that if we’re divided? We lose. Who loses even bigger? The generations to come.

Secondary Markets of the Digital Age

Image via Frankleion courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Image via Frankleion courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

In this entire used books debate I kept hearing used books be compared with cars and houses and computers and in my opinion that is entirely off base. Why? Cars by and large are something consumers cannot do without. Cars are a need. Houses? What’s our other option to buy? Refrigerator boxes? Computers. Really tough to get along in life without one. I have places that won’t even send paper bills anymore.

Books? For most people? Books are a want. Books are an extra. So to compare the used market of shelter and transportation (fundamental human needs) to books? It’s not even in the same universe so wasting time using these as comparisons is a non sequitur and a distraction.

Digital Versus Paper

I think as more posts are written about my Pay the Writer I’m seeing things more clearly. I think one reason for the pushback I got is that folks felt I was reader-shaming those who loved used bookstores. I honestly did not mean to, but my post was too long. It wasn’t as tight as it should have been, lending to confusion. It was probably also not as tight because I was really angry.

Really angry.

But considering that, I looked at why? Why did I get so angry at the original article and today? It hit me. Yes, the whole “exposure” thing and the “working for free” thing pissed me off, but another huge component?

I felt reader-shamed.

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 3.52.59 PM

Image “Sunflowers Shamed” via Alan Levine courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons.

My eyes are not the best. I have an astigmatism and a nystagmus (bouncing eyes) that worsens when I am tired. Ocular albinism runs in my family and my little brother even went to the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind.

After severe head trauma in an accident in 1997, my nystagmus got worse. I went from being one of those avid readers who had to sell plasma to afford her habit to not reading at all. It took forever to finish a book because my eyes would jump lines and I’d find myself reading the same line over and over. I’d lose my place and end up in tears.

The genres I grew up loving most—high fantasy in particular—were all but lost to me. My eyes couldn’t endure the small font. I tried magnifiers and all kinds of gadgets but reading by and large had become a misery.

Original Image via JDog90 courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Original Image via JDog90 courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Until digital.

I remember being the first to buy an iPad, a Nook and a Kindle. Yes, I go overboard in all I do. One of the first books I bought on my Nook (which I bought first to support bookstores)? Game of Thrones. I hadn’t been able to read it in paper.

I can’t describe the feeling. It felt like I was reunited with long-lost loves. I began inhaling books, sometimes a book every other day because now I could adjust the font and I could SEE. *angels singing*

Image via Charl Christiani courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons.

Image via Charl Christiani courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons.

How Kristen reads all her books…

Then they added Whispersync and when my eyes get too tired for the Old Lady Font to help, I transition to audio.

Discovering e-books reminded me of when my little brother was six years old. We pretty much realized he couldn’t see, but because his eye issue was such a rare condition, no doctor had before spotted it let alone corrected it.

Until fall of 1984.

I remember walking outside the eye specialist with him (I was 10). He was wearing his new specially made glasses. He stopped, stared at the sky and wobbled…then began to cry.

He never knew the trees had leaves. Had never realized those things in the sky were birds.

It’s been over 30 years and I still remember that moment.

And maybe my experience wasn’t as big of a deal, but it sure felt like it. I’d had so many years that my greatest joy was out of reach. And Amazon? Nook? Digital? They brought that back. Better yet? Digital afforded me two things at once—I got to read books I love and also financially support writers I adore.

WIN-WIN.

And ever since we’ve gone into the digital age there is this non-stop fighting—paper versus digital. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve been told that e-books are not “real” books.

Why do journalists (BIG journalists) insist on pitting one side against the other? Why do they also tend to pick the side authors are paid the least? Why is it socially acceptable and even encouraged to bash me and how I read books?

Readers Matter, But Do They? Really?

#FUTUREREADERS

#FUTUREREADERS

In all the brouhaha what kept coming up was I didn’t care about readers. That I was somehow reader-shaming people who buy used. Hint: I wasn’t.

The post wasn’t even directed to readers. It was about writers being better business people. But, if we’re going to make it about readers then all right.

What about those of us who love digital? People felt I was horrible because some people are on a limited budget and used books are the only way they can read or discover new authors.

What about people who have severe social anxiety? What about people with disabilities who order on-line? After that accident (mentioned above) I had such bad seizures I couldn’t drive. Had it not been for the Internet and on-line retailers, I wouldn’t have been able to shop at all.

What about people with transportation issues or the elderly? On-line retailers deliver right to their door. What about those readers?

If a person loves used bookstores does it mean then that they hate all these people and don’t want them to have books? If a reader doesn’t like e-books that person obviously thinks handicapped people shouldn’t have books?

No. Of course not. That’s as ridiculous as assuming that I’m against those with a limited income buying used.

If readers really matter then I want to ask. Why are we choosing sides at all?

Why did the Washington Post feel the need to shame ME and the way I happen to love getting books in order to promote the used bookstore? Why is it necessary to hurt one to lift another? It isn’t.

I get that used bookstores are great for discovering new authors and new books, but when I’m online? I get to see a list of suggestions.

Other readers who bought and liked this book ALSO bought this…

I buy more books that I will ever read (from used stores AND digital retailers).

What I don’t understand is why Salon jumps on me that I am somehow reader-shaming people who buy used in their post Don’t Feel Guilty For Buying UsedBut Rachel, just curious. If it’s really about you championing readers, then where was your post Don’t Feel Guilty for Buying E-Books? Where was the post Don’t Feel Ashamed for Ordering Books on Amazon? 

Thought so.

So maybe I did actually have a point in my post after all.

Wanting to Make a Living is Noble

Future writer.

Future writer. Get a real job you schlep!

In all the commentary I saw booksellers (used in particular) claiming how hard it was to make a living being up against places like Walmart and Amazon and digital and megastores, and that’s okay. Dang skippy it is! *fist bump*

But strangely, not one person said to the bookseller, “You’re whining! Get another job you loser! Find another paid line of work!” Yet, I lost count how many times that was said to me. How many times that was said about the writers I love.

Here’s the deal. ALL of us are in a tight spot. Digital is presenting all kinds of challenges. Consumers who want fast and cheap? They’re just as troublesome for the bookseller as the author. For publishers and booksellers and authors to be vexed by authentic market challenges?

That isn’t whining.

We all need to start having the crucial conversations. But we aren’t. Why? Low hanging fruit. It’s easier for the major journalists to keep fueling an Us vs. Them. Get paper people fighting with digital.

Why didn’t Salon pick any of my other follow up posts to highlight? The hard truth about publishing, how to support writers with reviews (for the used buyers on a limited income), or the post about Fair Trade Fiction? All of these posts meant better pay and business for authors and booksellers (used booksellers in particular)? Why didn’t they highlight any of these blogs?

Because then no one would have been fighting😉 . They couldn’t sell ads.

It’s Time for Sustainability

Baby Spawn and his iPad.

We have entire generations growing up teething on smartphones and tablets. Schools are issuing iPads instead of books. Millennials are accustomed to file-sharing and free and downloads. Remember Emily White’s famous NPR post about owning over 11,000 songs and yet only ever purchasing 15 CDs?

Emily is our future reader. This is the reader we need to cultivate a desire to buy something new…or we’re all doomed.

What about our future writers and their abilities to make a living? What about them? If we’re all going to shame them for wanting to make a living, then why don’t we just stop kidding ourselves and shut down the arts now? Instead we can train them to be real estate agents and pharmaceutical reps. You know. “Real” jobs.

Yes, READ!

Read books any way and every way you want. Libraries, used, B&N, new, Amazon, e-book. I was always in favor of that. But to say one way of consumption isn’t preferable to others (if you’re a writer)? That is just not reality. Discoverability is useless without a new purchase. People discover new music on YouTube all the time, but it doesn’t help the artist or the recording label until a purchase is made.

Yes, obscurity is our biggest threat. But it damn sure isn’t our only threat and stop acting like it is.

That’s like all of us being stranded in the Klondike and wailing that exposure is our greatest threat. Yes, well it is. But the starving to death and dehydration are also pretty big frigging deals, too.

Might it not be a good idea to instill a desire to buy new simply for sustainability? To teach social responsibility to the up and coming generations of readers? For the benefice of authors and booksellers? Because call me crazy but last I checked, bookstores sell books.

Want to save forests? Great! Recycle your newspapers. But we can’t just stop there. We are going to have to plant new trees. It’s true with trees and it’s true with artists and businesses. If we love it, we need to nurture it. Sustainability.

What are your thoughts? Do you love digital? I know I buy a lot of books from used because when I write NF I need to have page numbers and e-books don’t give me an accurate page number. Do you like the portability of the e-book? I travel and it is SO awesome being able to bring twenty books in my purse.

I also like reading at night in bed. Hubby can go to sleep and since my Kindle is backlit I can read while he goes to sleep. Do you do a lot of shopping on-line? Do you get tired of being told e-books aren’t “real” books? Do you get tired of the constant Us vs. Them? I love paper books and miss them. I just really have a hard time reading them.

I love hearing from you!

To prove it and show my love, for the month of JANUARY, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly. I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novel.

And yes, I am a complete and total slacker. December’s winner will be announced later because I seriously had three posts go viral. Great problem to have…but tabulating a winner? Gonna take a little time. Love you *air kiss*

Remember to check out the new classes listed at W.A.N.A International.  

Branding for Authors (THIS SATURDAY). This is your best way to get PAID in the digital age. We have to cultivate that 1000 die hard fans who won’t settle for FREE.

Also, I have one craft class listed. Your Story in a Sentence—Crafting Your Log-Line. Our stories should be simple enough to tell someone what the book is about in ONE sentence. If we can’t do this, often there is a plot problem. This class is great for teaching you how to be master plotters and the first TEN SIGNUPS get their log-line shredded for free, so you will be agent ready for the coming year.

For those who need help building a platform and keeping it SIMPLE, pick up a copy of my latest social media/branding book Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World on AMAZON, iBooks, or Nook

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  1. #1 by amygregoryauthor on January 21, 2016 - 6:47 pm

    I truly believe in everything you say. I devour your blog posts more than any other. I learn from them more than any other. Will I ever get rich from writing? I sincerely doubt it in this changing publishing world. I work full-time (something that won’t ever change as husb and I run our own company). But even if I could write full-time, what you say is true. I’ve tried every avenue of publicity I can think of. I have help, it’s still not enough to pay a light bill, let alone anything else. So please, keep blogging and writing because despite the fact I know I’m not going to be the next Susan Mallery, I do love it. I will keep at it, and your words of wisdom–are always greatly appreciated.
    Hugs,
    Amy

    • #2 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 21, 2016 - 6:51 pm

      Well, I find it funny that Salon chose to use its star power and platform to kick me instead of picking up my post on Fair Trade Fiction. Sure is food for thought isn’t it? What are they using their power FOR? Makes you think.

      • #3 by Rachel Thompson on January 21, 2016 - 8:18 pm

        Salon is a money whore. Controversy feed’s the corporate maul. They use their power when money is involved–sometimes in ways we’ll never know. That conflict draws readers is usually reason enough to stab someone in the heart.

  2. #4 by 1authorcygnetbrown on January 21, 2016 - 6:48 pm

    I love both digital and print books. As an Indie author, I have priced my books so that I net about the same per book whether its digital or print. My writer’s group has decided to join together and get out to festivals and conferences to meet current and future readers, but we are also working on our social media contacts as well.

  3. #5 by cpbialois on January 21, 2016 - 6:51 pm

    Reblogged this on The BiaLog and commented:
    A good read that’s worth the time.

  4. #6 by Carolyn Paul Branch on January 21, 2016 - 6:51 pm

    Kristen, You do write too much when you’re angry. I agree with ALL of your points. Absolutely. At least all those in the first two-thirds of your post. I never made it to the end.

    • #7 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 21, 2016 - 7:05 pm

      LOL…aaand when I am sick. Yeah, learned about tighter writing the hard way. See? I told y’all I do all the dumb stuff so you don’t have to😛

      But in fairness it’s why I use a lot of pictures and bold bullet points for easy scanning😀

  5. #8 by Tonya R. Moore on January 21, 2016 - 6:55 pm

    Wow. I had no idea that all of this was going down. I appreciated reading your very heartfelt and powerful post. I’m a huge fan of digital books. Not that I don’t love paperbacks. I’ve just run out of room to put them all, and life is so much better when I carry carry 20 or so books in my purse without feeling like I’m carrying a ton of bricks. Knowing I have something with me to read at all times is… comforting. I only write short fiction, and in my free time at that, but I would make the leap to writing novels in a heartbeat if I could right now. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make a living. For all the effort and love we pour into our work–that novelists pour into their work, there should be no question that it should pay off in some way. Understanding and acknowledging the system that keeps that from happening isn’t wrong. Why shouldn’t the proverbial wool be pulled from over our eyes?

  6. #9 by Angel on January 21, 2016 - 6:57 pm

    I like to read physical books, but I also, typically, buy books at 11pm. I also, like you discussed in a prior blog, like to read older books, or back listed books, or an entire series in a row (if I like book 1) and that is nearly impossible to get at a traditional book store.

    I’m just never sure why this is an argument. There’s enough room for all readers at the table.

    Note: My teenager does NOT like ebooks. She’ll read them if forced but she prefers to lug around actual books all the time. I do think one reason is because ereaders are not encouraged at school and she wants to read during her downtime.

  7. #10 by kford2007 on January 21, 2016 - 7:26 pm

    I like to read paper books. I do have a Kindle and Nook, but I prefer real books. I also have a collection of old books that have that old smell and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. My youngest son also doesn’t like digital books. He won’t read them. That said, I understand the need for them, the portability of them and the fact they don’t take up space in the house. There’s still something about getting a used book and finding a written note, or a signature from the author. I treasure those, but I certainly do not begrudge people who love the digital readers. I’m glad the choice is out there, and while I’d love to make a living writing, it means more to me that someone, somewhere, is reading my words and maybe even falling in love with them. That’s all I ever wanted as an author, to leave my written words behind. Maybe somewhere in the distant future, a future generation will uncover my books and love them as antiques as much as the ones I have in my possession from the 1800s. .

    • #11 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 21, 2016 - 7:28 pm

      I miss paper books. I am actually pretty ridiculous. I go to Half Priced Books and impulse buy all these paper novels that I KNOW I can’t read because the font makes me bonkers. So, I buy the e-book and then use the paper books to loan out or for decoration🙂 .

      • #12 by kford2007 on January 21, 2016 - 9:33 pm

        Can you read large print books, Kristen? I get them for my mother-in-law who has horrible sight. She cried the first time I got her a large-print book as she hadn’t been able to read for so long and never thought she’d read again. She’s elderly, and technology eludes her.

        • #13 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 21, 2016 - 9:56 pm

          I used to get those at the library but they are HUGE and HEAVY and they aren’t available for all books. E-readers make it way easier.

  8. #14 by paws2smile on January 21, 2016 - 7:27 pm

    I like physical and digital so I purchase both. I tend to buy the physical books of my favorite authors. Due to disability, I am not able to get out much. So I was very happy once I bought my first Kindle. FANTASTIC post!!

  9. #15 by Soooz on January 21, 2016 - 7:33 pm

    Thank you, again, Kristen. I have become addicted to your blog. Honesty is something I value highly. You hit me with it full on, every time, you post.. I hope you don’t mind that I make this post, the very first one on my baby blog.

  10. #16 by Soooz on January 21, 2016 - 7:35 pm

    Reblogged this on Soooz Burke … Author and commented:
    If I had a better way of writing this post, I would use it. But just how do you improve on this? I certainly can’t.

  11. #17 by J.D. Brown on January 21, 2016 - 7:44 pm

    One thing I’d like to point out that I think is rather funny about the Used Bookstore argument is that MOST EBOOKS ARE CHEAPER!!!! Those people who LOVE used book stores? No. They love traditionally published books. Traditionally published books ARE expensive, and most trad-publishers charge the same amount for ebook vs paperback (with hardcover being more expensive). Ebooks by an indie author though? I don’t know a single indie author who chargers more than 5.99 for a Game of Thrones sized novel. Most don’t go over 4.99. How is that not as good a deal as anything you can find at a used bookstore? The real problem for indie authors specifically is that most our books are not in physical book stores to begin with, but that’s totally cool ’cause digital pays better anyway.😛 More and more people are moving to digital across the board. Netflix has a whole line of Netflix exclusive TV shows and movies, more and more A-list actors are starting their own YouTube shows, and where those industries lead, books are sure to follow, because books are a part of the entertainment biz. We’re just a tad slow to catch up, but it’s happening. Hello, Kindle Unlimited anyone?😛

    • #18 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 21, 2016 - 7:56 pm

      I LOVE KU! And yeah, why isn’t there an outcry about traditional publishing charging $15 for an e-book if it is really about readers?

  12. #19 by Laurie on January 21, 2016 - 7:47 pm

    I need paper books for nonfiction.

    Also sick of being told ebooks aren’t “real” books, and “when are you going to write a REAL book?” *sigh*

  13. #20 by shanjeniah on January 21, 2016 - 7:56 pm

    I and both of my children have very strong textural awareness. For instance, I shudder even TYPING the word velvet, because it makes my skin crawl to even think about touching it.

    My point?

    My 14 year old son finds paper, such as book pages, intolerable to touch at times. He does nearly all his reading on Kindle. I’ve taken to buying most of my books there, too, because I can have a huge stack of books right with me, because I can notate and then un-notate as I please (you just can’t DO that with a paper book!), and I never lose my bookmarks when reading them. If they have links, I can click them right away, I can often read a sample without leaving my house, and, like you said, I can make life easier on my closing-in-on 50 eyes, which have read many many many words.

    That being said, there are a LOT of paper books here. Thousands, in fact. Library rejects, used book and garage sale finds, books bought new. I love books for myself, and, as a homeschooling mom, I like the idea that we have an eclectic collection of interesting books on interesting things.

    I hadn’t thought about the money writers lost when we bought the second-hand books in our library, but I don’t feel shamed by your pointing it out. Our budget is limited, and we would have been exposed to fewer writers if we hadn’t purchased those used volumes (many of which benefited libraries or charities). We’ve bought new books by authors we first discovered in used books. I’ve written a few reviews; now I’m motivated to write more.

    I totally agree that the dichotomy of Us vs. Them is generally a way of creating divisiveness that muddies issues and prevents cooperation and flexibility. Better to have an open mind, and a willingness to learn, and to look at things in a new way.

    • #21 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 21, 2016 - 8:21 pm

      Yeah I never got why educating readers, “Hey if you find something you love used please buy new” counted as shaming. But I guess it makes good click bait😛.

    • #22 by Woebegone but Hopeful on January 22, 2016 - 5:27 am

      Thank you for opening my mind to a circumstance I was not aware of, there is so much to learn in this world. To the subject, I think I fall into the ‘whatever works for you’ group

      • #23 by shanjeniah on January 22, 2016 - 5:47 am

        Indeed there is. Maybe there are as many reasons for reading either or both ways as there are people using them. I’ll say that when the kids and I travel, taking three Kindles is incredibly more efficient than a stack of books we might not even want to read…that’s another reason I hadn’t thought of. =)

        • #24 by Woebegone but Hopeful on January 22, 2016 - 6:00 am

          Hey, good idea, my wife and myself used to make trips very difficult by taking books ‘we might read’ sometimes arguably outweighing the clothes!

  14. #26 by Charlayne Denney on January 21, 2016 - 8:03 pm

    I had to laugh when you said “Why do journalists (BIG journalists) insist on pitting one side against the other?”

    Back in the stone age, before computers and digital publishing, I was a journalism student. The days of typewriters, linotype, and grid & wax layout with light blue pencil. I thought it would be the best way to get to write and make a living.

    Until I hit college.

    Journalists pit one side against the other simply to make news. Not REPORT the news, oh that’s way too boring. They have to create reasons for people to care and the fastest way to up readership is to give someone a controversy. People like to pick sides, even though most of us grew up dreading P.E. classes and being picked dead last for every activity. They want to be winners and the pitting of one side against the other gives people the chance to be winners (and losers).

    I miss the days of simple reporting. Who, what, when, where, how, and an occasional answering “why”. Now it’s all about how they can get something started, how they can generate discussion and make people keep coming back for more. We have 24-hour news, 24-hour opinion, and now the ability to get a bunch of people online to talk about those things we put out there for them.

    You got caught up in the spin machine. And that truly sucks in so many ways. But it also gave a lot of people a chance to examine a problem from different sides, those who are intellectually honest enough to say “I never thought about that one.”

    You’re famous. Sometimes it is wonderful, other times, it sucks worse than a Hoover.

  15. #28 by Rachel Thompson on January 21, 2016 - 8:07 pm

    I buy ebooks, used books, and new books (self and mainstream pubs). I mostly go paper, love the feel of a book. If I read an ebook or used book that hits me, I’ll buy more in paper just too support the writer. Ebooks and used are a good way to discover the writers you’ll keep reading without busting the bank. Same with music, get a sample free or cheap, if you like it, you’ll buy more. I don’t care if I make money, but I will pay author’s I read if I can. I want people to read my stuff, paid or not, but that’s me. Of course, getting paid is nice, too. I just want to read and write good stuff.

  16. #29 by tracikenworth on January 21, 2016 - 8:08 pm

    I love both paper and e-books, the latter, as you mentioned is easier for me to read with my vision so I can understand your preference. I LOVE your articles, Kristen!! Please don’t let anyone shame you, your voice matters!!

  17. #30 by Laura on January 21, 2016 - 8:27 pm

    Anymore, the only paper booms I buy are recipe books and travel books. I have a hard time following recipes and maps on my Kindle or phone, and I like to make a lot of notes in each.
    I’m also the type of book buyer who will buy the entire series at once (digitally) if I really like the author’s blog, then not get around to reading any of them for a year… my TBR pile will follow me to the grave. In fact, they should just put my phone and an electrical outlet in the casket with me and set it to play all my audio books so I can eventually say they were heard, at least… :-p

    • #31 by Laura on January 21, 2016 - 8:28 pm

      BWA HAHAHAHAHA…. paper books, not booms!

  18. #32 by kamas716 on January 21, 2016 - 9:02 pm

    Salon is nothing more than a rag. If it were physical, it would simply be another source of toilet paper. I give them no credit. The HuffPo is just as bad in my opinion.

    As for why you got such push back, I think it comes down to 1) You said some fairly unconventional and rather controversial things. Equating used book stores to pirates is a good way to get peoples dander up. It’s also disingenuous. 2) The post was too long and you muddied the intent of your post by being imprecise. 3) When defending yourself (at least at MGC) you seemed to get emotional. The inference that Amanda made I found completely understandable considering what you actually wrote in your blog. Once again, that comes down to being precise and clear.

    Everyone got a little too worked up about it. Hopefully we’re all over it now and can get along better.

    ps – In case you haven’t seen it yet, I sent you a PM on FB.

    • #33 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 21, 2016 - 9:06 pm

      Yes, I think it might have been your suggestion??? But I went back to the post in question. I WAS sick when I wrote it and so I don’t like changing things just to make me look better. I wrote it, so I will own it. But I did take a suggestion one of you guys had about adding in edits and clarification in another color.

      • #34 by kamas716 on January 21, 2016 - 9:11 pm

        I wasn’t the one who suggested marking an edit or addendum. I think that may have been Dorothy Grant, can’t remember off hand. I’m glad you took the suggestion though. Simply putting up another post oftentimes isn’t effective because people don’t go looking for subsequent post most times.

        • #35 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 21, 2016 - 9:28 pm

          I agree and I DID write follow ups that clarified but it did need to be THAT post. So instead? I really liked that idea of using strike-thoughs or different colors to note changes or areas of clarification. Then I don’t feel like I am cheating by pulling a post and conveniently editing it to make myself look better. That’s a good way for your critics to use the wayback machine and go for your throat😀.

  19. #36 by Julie on January 21, 2016 - 9:16 pm

    BRAVA!! I’d comment, but you said it all!

  20. #37 by jaimisorrell on January 21, 2016 - 9:29 pm

    You nailed the whole media agenda, Kristen. When I was in television publicity we had a saying about the media and their attitude toward actors. “If they’re seen talking to someone, the media want them to be dating. If they are dating, they want them to get married. If they get married, they want them to have kids. If they’ve done all that (and sometimes if they haven’t!), they want them to get a divorce.” If their targets stop moving, they die. No movement, or change of stage, means no news. And the media is totally not above making it happen if necessary.

  21. #38 by ariefarnam on January 21, 2016 - 9:51 pm

    I doubt you’re actually hurt by the free advertising but just in case you actually have some thin spots in that thick skin of yours, let me remind you that having The Washington Post comment on what you said is among the highest marks of success, period. It is utterly irrelevant if their comment was positive or not, and it’s far better advertising if it was controversial.

    That said, I’ll vouch for the vision issues. I’m legally blind and digital books and ereaders are a life saver as you say. I personally had that “Wow! People can actually see the individual leaves on trees!!!!” moment when I was nine years old and first encountered contact lenses. I asked my mother if she had always been able to see each leaf on a tree and she went silent in that way that grown-ups do when you’ve said something really troubling.😀 So, I can relate. And I too have a soft spot for used bookstores. I just like the way they smell, even it takes me forever to read a print book. I’m doing just that these past few days, using every spare minute (and there are few between running herd on toddlers and navigating the world of online book marketing) to read a book that the authors decided not to put on Kindle because “hey, Kindle is bad” and I really really really want to read this book. It’s a pain in the neck (literally). But oddly enough it didn’t occur to me to complain about it.

    You annoy me no end with your unrealistic posts about how all writers can make a living doing this if only they hone their craft and market wisely and stick with it, because you and I both know it ain’t true and it’s a book-marketing strategy for your how-to books. But I keep reading your posts because I love these occasional snippets of such raw realness. How about recognizing the fact that many many writers do the real work every day and will never have the chance to be paid to do it, and it’s worth doing it anyway. Most of us don’t need a pep talk on how we need to get after it and write regularly. We write because we can’t help ourselves. I’ve been writing every day for thirty years, twenty of them as a professional and with publishing credits. I’ve had the odd moment of some readership but I’m never going to be able to compete in this market place. I am legally blind, which means my online work isn’t as fast as many. (Any problem in competition is death out there and you know it), I live far from the places where I could physically network and smooze with the right people. (Heck, I’m obviously not very good at smoozing anyway, because I don’t flatter you either, do I?). From what you write, I would have to assume I should give up.

    But I don’t because… well, I think I can’t stop. I have to breathe. I have to do creative work. Some of us just can’t live any other way. My children live well below the poverty line because I have few other options without transportation (yes, you’re right about that issue for visually impaired people) and because the online popularity-contest-thing is impossible for most of us. If I could (either physically or psychologically) I WOULD do something else but I can’t. I’ve tried and the results are clinical depression. My kids need me functional far more than they need more money. So, I have to do the creative work, but I don’t need the constant barrage of “If you were doing it right, you’d be making some money by now like those of us who got lucky back in the day when there was an open window into this online publishing.”

    Stay real. It will matter most in the long run in the things beyond money.

    • #39 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 21, 2016 - 10:01 pm

      Well it is a labor of love for sure. I don’t know if all writers will or even can be paid. My job is to be positive and help you the best I can reach that goal. To improve your odds. But yeah, no one knows. Unfortunately entertainment isn’t a meritocracy. We see junk that goes viral and makes a gazillion dollars while other, far more talented writers remain undiscovered and broke. All I know is the harder we work, the luckier we get. We get to do what we love and? With this new on-line world? We are not alone. I have you. You always have me🙂 .

      • #40 by ariefarnam on January 21, 2016 - 11:24 pm

        I see you have me pegged as a wanna-be writer, who just loves to write. I’m not. I’ve spent a few years with national publications. I’ve published six books. I just have a sense of perspective and reality as well as hard drive, every bit as strong as yours. I don’t have a blog on here except for the ability to comment on things like this because I have a real website. I’m not a “baby writer” and take exception to the term. I am not exaggerating when I say I’ve been writing every day for thirty years and a professional for the last twenty.

        “We” don’t get to do what we love. Those who have other means of support get to do it. Those who don’t, do not get to, except after the kids are in bed. I understand that you try to keep a positive attitude because it is a necessity much of the time. But there are also times to get real, to say “Yup, even if you do it all right, you probably won’t ever get paid, but if you are stricken with this need to do creative work then do it and know you aren’t alone.” Now there is a message that has a longer shelf life.🙂 I do love your concept of those who must do creative work looking out for one another. Best wishes.

        • #41 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 22, 2016 - 8:49 am

          LOL, the term “baby writers” has nothing to do with being a wanna=be. I view all writers as my “baby writers” even the NYTBSAs because I am the one by and large leading a lot of the charge into the digital age. I like being there for all of you. I felt very honored when I got the moniker the WANA Mama. I am VERY protective of all of you. I was VERY protective of NYTBSA James Rollins when he got slammed with a legion of one-star reviews from pissed off reviewers because NY decided to price his e-book the same as his hardback. I stepped in, gathered resources and went to work helping him. So don’t take that reference in any way as a make of your level as a writer, because I didn’t get that at all. I got the sense of a multi-publishes prob. But again, this is a tough business and we all do it out of love.

          This job doesn’t make me rich. In fact WANATribe? I have paid thousands of dollars of my own money to build it and maintain it so you guys have a place to safely network with no adds. THAT is the part where I feel like I am mothering😀 .

          • #42 by ariefarnam on January 22, 2016 - 3:39 pm

            Sales are not a particularly good indicator of a writer’s level of professionalism, craft, commitment or drive. They are a good (though not perfect) indication of the writer’s wealth at the beginning of the publishing process, of the writer’s previous platform and of the writer’s connections in the media and publishing industry. There are exceptions, I know. But they are still exceptions.

            I’m sure you do have have good connections with those with great success. I hope you at least make a living from your writing as a result, even if you don’t get rich. Best wishes and don’t be afraid to be real..

  22. #43 by jamosteller on January 21, 2016 - 10:24 pm

    Kristen, I was a bit torn on your first article on this issue. On a limited budget, it sometimes makes more sense to grab one book in a series to see if I or my kids will like them, (I.e. Goosebumps or Alex Rider) at the local used bookstore or Goodwill. I find myself constantly on the look out for books that are both appropriate for my not so little ones and are also challenging is to read and on a tight budget, that can be hard sometimes.

    BUT, as the author of now, two books I’m trying to get noticed by agents, darn right I hope to get paid for these. I see your point and yes, we have refocused on buying both physical and ebooks.

    I still think we’ll grab the occasional first book in a suggested series used or check them out in the library to make sure we are hooked and then we purchase them new or digitally from there.

    Oh and I fully agree with your initial premise in this article, if you’re brave enough to voice an opinion nowadays someone is going to vilify you for it. You should be able to be a liberal without being hated, a conservative without being vilified, a Christian, a Muslim, an atheist all without being chastised for your beliefs. And to think you just wrote about buying books.

    Keep it up!

    James

    • #44 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 21, 2016 - 10:38 pm

      I get that. Try being the W.A.N.A. Mama and having thousands of “baby writers”. I do try to buy as many of your books as I can, but to be honest? Often I buy ONE new. The rest might be used, LOL. Because otherwise I would go bankrupt.

      Oh and you forgot, I mentioned the great TABOO…paying writers. THE HORROR!

  23. #45 by Sheila M. Good, Author on January 21, 2016 - 10:50 pm

    Aw, Kristen don’t you know people love to argue. Sometimes, you just have to brush it off. For me, I love to read both. If I’m honest, I do prefer paper (the nostalgia and all), but I love digital books for the convenience. Thank you for another engaging article.

    • #46 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 22, 2016 - 8:51 am

      Actually I DO know they love to argue and I had never meant this discussion to go this long but maybe we need to keep riding this wave. It is making an impact and getting attention and big name writers are starting to go, “You know what? This working for free is BS!”

  24. #48 by The Ranting Monkey on January 21, 2016 - 10:53 pm

    Should I ever finish writing a book, I could not care less which avenue people take to read it as long as everyone does read it.

    I had a much longer reply but I’m gonna do use that in my own space. Here, I’m just going to throw this out there, readers, like every other group, has it’s fair share of elitists, that’s where most of the flame in the ebook vs paper war comes from. It may be dressed up as being a traditionalist or whatever but what it boils down it is that some people think they are better than others because of how they consume.

  25. #49 by Kate McMurry on January 22, 2016 - 12:04 am

    Kristen, first and foremost, your child is utterly adorable.🙂

    Re this post: IMHO, you hit the nail on the head. Journalists rarely seem to want to write heartwarming pieces but rather choose topics that they hope will create artificial horse races or set up the possibility of picking a fight with someone (as they tried to do with you) in order to get their readers mad at some person or situation. In journalism as well as politics, rage seems to be the main emotion sought out from the audience in order to get attention and to generate “buzz.” And when someone–as in this case, you–is interpreted and/or quoted out of context, there never seems to be any apologetic followup when the assertions made against them are wrong. The main silver lining to the bashing you’ve been taking over the used bookstore post is this, though: I’ll bet you are getting a ton more traffic to your blog from curiosity seekers coming over to see what this supposed used-bookstore Grinch is all about. At least, I hope so. And when they come, they will see you are a fountain of amazing information about marketing for the writer on how to make a living with her/his craft.

    Finally, I’d like to humbly offer an addendum to your frequent request to readers, “If you love a book, leave a review.” It is this: If you love a book, you don’t have to leave an entire review for it to make a difference to the writer. Amazon now offers the ability to leave a star rating without having to post an accompanying review, similar to what one can do on Goodreads (which Amazon purchased a while back). As of this point in time, star-ratings sans reviews remain anonymous on Amazon (though not on Goodreads). But they are using the star ratings to give consumer items, including books, an overall star rating, as does Goodreads. Potential readers look at that as well as reviews when making a decision to read a book. However, this reality about reviews is also true when readers choose to post an actual review (speaking from a reader/buyer’s POV): If you simply offer a few generic words of praise (Amazon requires at least 20 words in a review), it is not much help to a potential reader for deciding whether to buy a book. And if the review is longer than that but incoherent, that’s not much use either. On Amazon, such reviews are likely to get voted as “not helpful” because that’s what they are.

  26. #50 by amiegibbons15 on January 22, 2016 - 12:15 am

    I love your blog and MGC and the whole kerfuffle over there was… er, interesting. I’m glad you went back and clarified your comments because I think you and the folks over there come from the same place and generally agree on the approach to the publishing world.

    As for the media going after you because you dare say buy ebooks and authors should get paid and why doesn’t everyone get up in arms about the publishers charging $15.99 for an ebook? Welllllll, one theory is “mainstream media” sees everyone who can go around the gatekeepers as a threat to them because if writers don’t need publishers (which ebooks made possible) then maybe people with blogs and video cameras could replace them. That’s already getting going on the internet, indie news sources to counter the main ones. So the attack on ebooks is more of an attack on indies, because the old system is still trying to convince everyone they are necessary and these ebooks (indies) are just a fad.

    Okay, now that I have indulged my conspiracy theory side, I’ll go back to you🙂 I just got your book Rise of the Machines on social media marketing and I’m hoping it’s as helpful as the reviews say🙂 I’m just starting out as an author and marketing is not my strong suit so I’ve got to up my game.

  27. #51 by Leigh Verrill-Rhys: EverWriting on January 22, 2016 - 12:43 am

    I’m a writer and a reader. Digital and Print. I frequent used & new bookstores about as often as I buy books online. I recently bought a book for a child and mailed it but wished I’d bought it online and had the online retailer send it for me. The postage cost more than the book itself – even though it was a hardback. On my earned income as a writer, every penny counts so I feel no guilt about taking the less expensive option. I now publish digital first and follow with a print version – always more expensive than the digital edition, but I do like the feel of a book and they look great on my shelf – something that digital books can’t give you – physical presence.
    All that said, for the media, there’s no money in reasonable thought processes. They thrive only on conflict – much the same as writers in the throes of creating a story. That is a bad thing when the heavy hand of self-righteousness starts huffing and puffing, throwing flaming blame-darts at anyone who exercises the right to have a personal opinion with which the self-righteous disagree.
    I applaud Kirsten’s courage in all aspects of the creative life. If not for her, we would not be having this conversation. Courage inspires.

  28. #52 by Niina on January 22, 2016 - 2:41 am

    I loved the bit about us having to plant new trees like we have to nurture artists. I mostly buy ebooks, all new and a lot of them indie, but I occasionally go for the hard/paperback. Usually if I’m asking for a book for a gift, it’ll come in traditional format and I don’t mind. I like both digital and traditional, although ebooks are a bit more convenient because they go wherever my phone goes. Can’t remember the last time I bought an used book, though. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with buying used books but you make a great point about discoverability and sales. If we read something used we love, why wouldn’t we want to support the author by also reading another, new book?

  29. #53 by Jennie Ensor on January 22, 2016 - 3:56 am

    I totally agree e-books do not deserve to be treated as second class citizens and authors deserve to be renumerated for writing esp. in this format. But can the book publishing industry find a way to stop e-books being sold at prices too low to sustain authors? And if ‘real’ book shops are going can’t we create virtual ones – not Amazon – which can foster browsing among virtual shelves and discovering authors you’ve never heard of?

    • #54 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 22, 2016 - 8:55 am

      Actually the low prices on e-books don’t hurt authors, HIGH prices hurt them. The ideal price for an e-book is actually about $4.99 because you sell many more copies. NY has been price protecting to support paper and consumers just aren’t going to pay $15 for an e-book….so they sell far fewer units. Something doesn’t need to be expensive to make a lot of money. Toothpaste is not expensive but I could live off that kind of profit and it would be easier than say selling Ferraris.

  30. #55 by Woebegone but Hopeful on January 22, 2016 - 5:34 am

    This was a most interesting post as were the replies. Firstly congratulations to you for overcoming so many hurdles and pressing on; ‘True Grit’ (as it were).
    I have a ramshackled collection: comprising new, second-hand, pdf downloads; e-books and short-cuts to favourites of web-sites. So it seems to be that whatever works for the reader is fine; however a choice should not be criticised just because it rattles someone’s sensibilities.
    The issue of second-hand books and the author’s rights (no pun intended) is one I’d not thought of until you mentioned it; I’ve pondered on it and to be honest have not reached a conclusion one way or another. That said, it a very valid point to raise and good for you for doing so.
    Best wishes in your endeavours
    Roger

  31. #56 by lizfielding2 on January 22, 2016 - 6:06 am

    What is it about journalists that they have to denigrate people? Sigh. My eyesight has always been poor, Kristen but advanced years have made it worse and I wouldn’t be able to read without my Kindle. Totally with you.

  32. #57 by weissblut on January 22, 2016 - 8:00 am

    Good post Kristen. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I think you’re right when you say that it’s a useless debate, this digital vs. brick-and-mortar. But it’s a debate created because the actual system of royalties is broken. I am sure digital will become the choice for traditional publishers as well, because they’ll eventually realise of DRM protected content = any copy of the book cannot be resold/borrowed = they’ll make more money.

    I think this speaks to how broken the model is. Royalties are a thing of the past. I truly believe publishing houses and agents are necessary from a curation perspective, but they’re not stepping up their game in this changing world. Authors are left alone to write, with no reach to their audience and no pulse on their pockets. Which is bad.

    Some artists get that, and are changing it. In music, because of CD piracy, this problem has been tackled earlier on – with the rise of Napster, the iTunes revolution, and eventually, Radiohead releasing their album for Pay-as-much-as-you-want.

    Will we see something similar in the book space? I personally buy digital more than physical lately, because it’s so easy to grab the book I need, and read it immediately, even if it’s midnight and I’m in my bed. But I also visit bookstores, and buy new and used ones.

    I believe that self-publishing, albeit hosting a sea of terrible things, is also a great example of direct relationship between readers and authors. We need to add more curation in that, and change royalties methods. Musicians sell their albums but can have their songs played on radio, while writers can’t. Also, musicians will make real money from concerts, that’s why now you can pay a service 9.99 dollars to listen to everything you want. With books this has been tried but it doesn’t really work.

    Again, an example from the music industry is Amanda Palmer; she uses methods like Kickstarter, and Patreon. It’s not different from the renaissance in Italy, where rich landlords would host and support artists. Only this time it’s their audience being supportive. I’m all for my work to be distributed to gain exposure; I think it’s great. Eventually, people should also have a method to send the artist money, like a donation, even if they bought the book second-hand, borrowed from a friend, or dowloaded it illegally from the internet. Some self-pub authors are actually going this way as well, and I believe that this could be a good glimpse of the future.

    Sorry for the long comment, I hope I made sense!

    • #58 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 22, 2016 - 9:05 am

      Oh I like long comments. I figure if I am long-winded you can be too. Yes, things are definitely going to have to change and I KNOW they need to simply because people are attacking ME so fiercely. People don’t like change and they don’t like anyone criticizing their sacred cows. Because I say (and hear me out) that I don’t like used bookstores and libraries…that does NOT mean I am saying, “Get rid of them! They suck! Burn them down!” What I AM saying is that they are in need of being overhauled. We can’t just keep defending them because they represent a tether back to the way things were and a sense of nostalgia.

      Nostalgia will get us all on the bread line. Used bookstores need writers just as much as writers need used bookstores. In the old days we could work on separate tangents and be viable? Now? That’s going away. Libraries? Some libraries in this country are really progressive and support authors, but not all of them are. I can tell you that.

      What I see with music and video is everything going to on-demand services and streaming and I think books are headed there too. Music has always given us a glimpse of what is ahead for us and that’s why I have been so adamant about educating and cultivating the youth to value artists and to want to pay them out of social responsibility because with the Internet it is only going to get easier to get our stuff for free.

      • #59 by weissblut on January 22, 2016 - 9:07 am

        We’re on the same page here then! Thanks for the reply.

  33. #60 by Rick Amitin on January 22, 2016 - 8:40 am

    Kristen is on the front line, battling for the well-being of artists, on an ever changing playing field. Passion always merits a second look. Before I disagree I like to make sure I understand the issue. I think she is right to draw attention to something that affects us all.

  34. #61 by Stacey Haggard Brewer on January 22, 2016 - 8:51 am

    I always say that a book is NOT the paper is printed on.

    I love paper books. I love the smell and the feel and the whole experience. I’m sure you do, too. But I’m not a paper snob. Why? Because a stack of bound paper is not a book. Nor is it the string of ones and zeros that make images appear on my smartphone screen ir Kindle a book.

    A book is the words an author so carefully strung together to make a story. It’s the peek inside the author’s head and the immersion in the author’s world and so many other things that have nothing to do with how those things arrive in my hands.

  35. #62 by lonestarjake88 on January 22, 2016 - 9:30 am

    Wow, you got the ire of the National Enquirer of the internet: Salon! You should feel proud, Kristen. Seriously. It gives me the giggles every time someone pisses those hacks off. As usual, they didn’t do their research or follow through. They just whipped something together. I’m a little surprised they didn’t call you a sexist for encouraging writers to educate their readers. I know it doesn’t make sense, but they’ve called people worse for less.

  36. #63 by Bob on January 22, 2016 - 9:53 am

    My wife and I are avid readers of both paper copies and e-books on our Kindles. In fact I have two of your books on my Kindle and yes I did pay for them. We get most of our books through the library including some e-books. We also belong to a book club where we discuss books and authors but we try not to buy too many paper copies, my book shelves are overstuffed as it is and I’m out of room. Many book club members buy their books and often, after discussing an author’s work, will buy other works of theirs.

    I know you don’t like the used book business but we would rather donate a purchased book we have read to the library or a Goodwill bookstore or just pass it on to someone else rather than dispose of it because of the lack of shelf space.

    It is a sign of the times that we just gave our 9 year old granddaughter a Kindle. It seems that her school is going to be assigning them e-books to read.

    I appreciate your comment about eye problems. I was born with poor but correctable eyesight. These days most of what I read is just a blur.but I keep reading. Thanks for your excellent blog posts.

  37. #64 by nancysegovia on January 22, 2016 - 12:17 pm

    This may sound stupid, but I really believe it is about the way western thought works. Western thought is based on duality. Things are either good or bad, this or that, up or down. What you are suggesting is nonduality thinking which is an Eastern thought method. For example, when a Buddhist monk in training is involved with a debate with his master it will work like this. Tell me all the bad things about x, y, and z. Every time the trainee says something they both will smile and clap. This can go on all day, all week, all month until the topic is exhausted. Then the monk trainee is told to now tell his master all the good things about x, y and z. Again, each pronouncement is followed by clapping and smiling. The only time anyone loses in this debate is when someone stops smiling. This is nonduality thinking that encompasses all aspects of whatever topic is being discussed with no right or wrong. Just what is. This whole debate about used bookstores, ebooks vs paper, brick and mortar stores vs. Amazon, etc. is a classic example of duality thinking. Someone must be right, someone must win and someone must lose, and it won’t work until we start thinking about the whole situation and what all the ramifications are.

    Ok, done preaching, but so happy you can read again. I cannot imagine my life without books.

    Smiles, Nancy

  38. #65 by Tamara LeBlanc on January 22, 2016 - 12:47 pm

    God, as always, truly thought provoking post! Iove both digital AND print. I grew up on print, read my first romance novel when I was 13 at thee beach on vacay with my family. Stil have that Constance OBanyon book, all dog-eared and yellowed. I love paper books. But I also embrace the future and enjoy being able to hold 1000 books in one hand.
    Thank you for your wisdom!
    Have a great weekend, Tamara🙂

  39. #66 by Kim Frischknecht (@FrischwriterKim) on January 22, 2016 - 6:48 pm

    Man, I need someone like you to critique my writing. You provide perspectives that I just can’t ignore.

  40. #67 by tomburkhalter on January 22, 2016 - 9:08 pm

    David Brin wrote that writing fiction is the only true magic, the only way to create something from nothing.

    Once that something emerges from nothing, though, it becomes a commodity, something that can be bought and sold like any other commodity. Bought, sold and exploited. The commodity has value.

    I’ve worked at a lot of different jobs over the years. When you flip burgers, or work on an assembly line, or dig foundations, you produce an obvious value that almost anyone can comprehend, and you do so in a fairly circumscribed period of time. Most people understand this and live their lives accordingly.

    Art of any sort, not simply the written word, is hardly ever produced to a schedule. The artist appears, to any external observer, to do very little. I’m sitting at a laptop writing this, but by the time the words appear on this screen the real work of writing has been done. The only external evidence of that are my fingers, tapping keys.

    If I were a painter it wouldn’t be any different. You sit with a sketch pad, doodling, just like a kid wasting time. Or you stand in front of a canvas, now and again daubing the canvas with paint.

    It’s worth noting in this connection that Vincent van Gogh never sold a painting in his life, a life eventually consumed by devotion to art. Once his work was created it became a commodity, and van Gogh’s paintings sell for tens of millions of dollars,

    There is a disconnect between what we seem to perceive, or have been taught to perceive, as work that has value and what artists do. There seems to be this perception that artists of any stripe are eccentric cranks, idle layabouts, and wastrels…who, of course, should “get a real job.”

    It is worth noting that, by implication, if artists are idlers who should get a real job, then they don’t work…and therefore produce nothing of value.

    So it is worthwhile to ask whether artists have value in the eyes of others. How can they, if, as I argue here, so few people see the value in what they do? Even readers who love a certain writer might not see the value in the artist.

  41. #68 by Another Take on January 22, 2016 - 9:41 pm

    It’s so obvious that we’re all forgetting the major reason authors should love e-readers–they have expanded the reader market exponentially. People who didn’t want to afford $30 for a hardcover or even $15 for a paperback and who found visiting libraries didn’t result in finding books they liked reading are reading once again because it’s so easy and inexpensive, not to mention, today we authors can find readers any place on the globe. I’m earning money from readers in a dozen countries because they can find and read my books on their e-readers. That’s why in the long run, the digital revolution is fantastic both for authors and readers. Let the chattering class chatter away while we reap the benefits.

  42. #70 by lynnkelleyauthor on January 23, 2016 - 12:11 am

    Right on, Kristen. Again. I prefer ebooks because my eyes get strained if I read too much. I love audio books, too. I use the text-to-voice feature on my Kindle. It’s an old one. I don’t know if the newer ones have that feature. My big beef with the price of ebooks by the big publishers is they’re way overpriced. I’m not going to pay $13.00 for an ebook unless it’s required reading for a class I’m taking and I have no choice. There are plenty of indie and self-pubbed ebooks that are great reads. I appreciate Hugh Howey pricing his self-published books so reasonably. His Silo Saga series is one of my all-time favorites.

    As for those who fuel the us vs. them fighting, shame on them. We can do some shame blame, too.🙂

  43. #71 by wynwords on January 23, 2016 - 9:04 am

    It’s one of the scariest things as a writer, to have our own words twisted and bent to fit someone else’s agenda. The publishing model needs to change, but not in the us vs them sort of way. As you said, there are ways to support your new favorite author, even if the book was read through a library or bought used (reviews).

  44. #72 by Jan Rider Newman on January 23, 2016 - 11:06 am

    Ebooks are great for me because I need glasses to read, and glasses really, really hurt my head after a while. With a swipe of my fingers on a digital screen, I’ve got font large enough to read w/o glasses. Thank you for standing up and saying writers deserve to be paid, that we’re professionals and to expect us work for free is ridiculous. Many people do not see writing as a profession. The IRS calls it a hobby unless you’re making $$. Bah! So, yes, buy a book and help the author buy a cup of coffee in her local McDonald’s. Rock on, Kristen.

  45. #73 by S.W. Biddulph on January 23, 2016 - 3:09 pm

    Reblogged this on Two Drops of Ink: A Literary Blog and commented:
    I`ve followed this blog for a couple of years now and every now and again I like to reblog a post of hers. If you`re looking for a great writer and successful blogger to follow or emulate–her ya go. Scott

  46. #74 by John Holton on January 23, 2016 - 5:24 pm

    Mary and I both love e-books. She likes them because, as she says, when she finishes a book, she doesn’t have to get her ass up off the couch to get a new one, she can just shop for another right there. She doesn’t so much read as inhale the words; she can finish four or five books in a sitting. I like them because they’re easier for me to handle with one good hand. The problem is that I have a cat that will come and sit on my Kindle when she doesn’t feel like she’s getting any attention.

  47. #75 by Sacha Black on January 24, 2016 - 2:07 pm

    Agreed, why are we forcing readers to choose. Cant we all just read the format we want and be done with it? I am a total bibliophile, but when I met my partner 7 years ago, stopped reading a lot because she goes to bed before me. Then I discovered iPads and the backlit kindle app and hey presto, now I read ALL THE TIME and she sleeps and everyones happy! Fuck what anyone else says. Read however you want and nobody should shame anyone over it.

  48. #76 by Marilyn L. Davis on January 25, 2016 - 8:17 am

    Wonderful post, and we’ve reblogged on Two Drops of Ink.

    I read the words to be entertained, enchanted, and educated. As such, I do not care what the format is. I’m a great fan of Thriftbooks.com – real books, real cheap, and real fast, with free shipping at $10. And they do offer the “books like” so I can discover a new author or find a book I missed fifteen years ago by a favorite writer. Plus they have text books, so my grand daughter saves money.

    I also like the portability of devices when I travel. Maybe I’m just enamored with words, but both work for me.

  49. #77 by gretchenwing on January 26, 2016 - 10:43 am

    This is one of those posts where I find myself saying “hell yeah!” Pretty much every paragraph. Write. On!

  50. #78 by Christine Hayton on January 27, 2016 - 5:30 pm

    I’m an accountant who retired and became a writer. I know business and I love writing. I hope to continue to work with traditional publishers and write lots more books.

    As a reader i simply love books. I have used e-books when I had both feet operated on. I also have a library of approximately 2,000 hard covers of everything from classics to brand new novels. But I have to admit my greatest joy is the feel and smell of a used bookstore. The dusty hardwood creaking underfoot and the old tattered books stacked on every surface and floor creates a spa-like nostalgia. I can spend hours there.

    I have always paid for my books whether e-books, new or used printed copies. I already have more books than I can read in my lifetime (maybe). It makes me sad to realize the competition among writers is so strong it has taken over and they are missing the whole point of writing. Its about readers and love of the written word. The huge number of writers and self-published books produced weekly leaves everyone trying to be noticed and succeed. I really think its about finding something to blame (besides themselves) for their lack of overnight success.

    It doesn’t matter how you read – just a long as you read.

  51. #79 by senseiorlando on January 28, 2016 - 12:04 am

    Reblogged this on Nascent Novel and commented:
    Some more thoughts from Kristen on the future of Writing.

  52. #80 by xxsarahcaroline on January 29, 2016 - 10:43 pm

    Thanks to these posts of yours, I’m becoming more committed to buying books! In fact, one of my new years resolutions is to do better to support authors this year. I’m excited for it!

  53. #81 by alexadarin on February 2, 2016 - 5:12 pm

    I’m with you Kristen. ‘Nuf said.

  54. #82 by J.B. Whitmore on February 14, 2016 - 4:22 pm

    HEAR HEAR! Audio books not only gave my best friend a new job as a narrator, they allowed me to read more than one book at once, and make cleaning toilets, and time on a treadmill, well not fun, but activities I readily do, as long as there is a book to listen to. Paper books. Kindle books. Bring ’em all on.

  1. Why the Fighting? What World are We Creating for Future Readers & Writers? | lbushman
  2. All Reading Is Real | The Ranting Monkey
  3. Links To Blog Posts on Writing – January 2016 | Anna Butler
  4. Links To Blog Posts on Writing – February 2016 | Anna Butler

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