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an honest question about purchasing books

In the breaks in his writing schedule, David has promised to stop by and chat for a while!
an honest question about purchasing books
Post by Dan   » Mon Jan 19, 2015 3:38 pm

Dan
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Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2015 1:17 pm

Hi,

I'm a brand new member here and I have a question. Say I'm poor and can't afford to pay more than $5 for your books; in that case how would you prefer I acquire the books I read? I'll list the legal methods I can use that allow me to read a book:

1. I can borrow it from a library for free in physical or eBook form. The author gets paid a royalty (a buck?) for a book that could be read by thousands of people.

2. I can buy the physical book myself. There goes that dollar again (but, as an actual physical book, it was probably at least sniffed by an editor as it was rushed to the printers).

3. I can trade the books in my huge library (95% of which were purchased used) in for credit and buy more (but admittedly fewer) used books; a definite win in my fiancee's eyes since she is REALLY tired of dusting them. My library dwindles and the author gets paid nothing.

4. I can join an online book rental service for $6 a month. The author gets paid nothing.

5. I can look for a free promo copy online. The author gets paid nothing.

6. I can "purchase" the book online with possibly NO rights to even move it to another eReader, let alone sell it once I read it. Editing of said eBook will probably be non-existent. The author gets a MUCH larger slice of the pie.

With all those inexpensive options, I'd STILL prefer to "purchase" (without owning) books from my favorite authors online, because of the convenience and because, even at $5 per book, I think the author gets more money in this scenario. What I'd like to do with books that exceed my budget is, for example, purchase one $10 book and download a second book for free on the Internet. I pay $10 and get 2 books, and I believe the author makes more money. I was wondering what an author would recommend, given my $5 spending limit.

Dan
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Re: an honest question about purchasing books
Post by Duckk   » Mon Jan 19, 2015 5:02 pm

Duckk
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Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2009 5:29 pm

For a lot of David's Baen backlog, you can hit up the BaenCD site, which is approved by Baen.

http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/
-------------------------
Shields at 50%, taunting at 100%! - Tom Pope
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Re: an honest question about purchasing books
Post by fallsfromtrees   » Mon Jan 19, 2015 7:22 pm

fallsfromtrees
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Location: Mesa, Arizona

Duckk wrote:For a lot of David's Baen backlog, you can hit up the BaenCD site, which is approved by Baen.

http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/

I concur, but I would also suggest buying some of them as your finances permit, just as a thank you for the access to the books.

As an addendum, with the Baen books, you can move them to any other e-reader you have or might acquire in the future, or read them on your desktop or laptop machine using Calibre or any other ebook software. Just don't re-distribute them, that constitutes piracy.
The only problem with quotes on the internet is that you can't authenticate them -- Abraham Lincoln
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Re: an honest question about purchasing books
Post by dreamrider   » Wed May 06, 2015 1:38 am

dreamrider
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Posts: 1108
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 5:44 am

Dan wrote:Hi,

I'm a brand new member here and I have a question.
<snip>
I was wondering what an author would recommend, given my $5 spending limit.

Dan


Per past comments from David, both in forums and on panels, he does best financially when someone purchases the hardback, by any means - book shop, on-line, whatever -, followed pretty closely by the e-book, especially directly from the publisher's site, followed more distantly by paperback.

What makes you think the author gets nothing when you rent on-line, or find a "promo" copy on-line? Rental services pay royalties, and what the publisher decides to do as promotion does not necessarily change what the author gets.

As to what David would tell you to do on your limited budget...
He would probably tell you to go to the library. He is an imminently practical man, and a generous one. If you've really only got about $5 (per month, presumably, based on other portions of your post - you never really say), he would probably just as soon that you save your $5, and instead influence the buying patterns of both your local library, and via shared data the rest of nations libraries via your steady patronage.

BTW, my wife is a librarian. Your estimate of how many readers a single hardback novel has during its tenure in the library is way high.

In the first year, a discrete copy of a very popular book might be checked out a couple dozen times. The library system will buy multiple (sometimes many) copies of known popular authors newly released works, then weed them down (to save shelf space) after the high demand of the release year begins to wane.

By the time something like a Weber book is in release for five years, a large suburban county library system will probably be down from a dozen+ copies system wide to 3-4. The least checked out, therefore least worn, copies will be the ones kept in system. By 5 years in, a single physical copy of a novel similar to a typical Weber book will have been checked out perhaps 60 to 100 times.

dreamrider
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