Apologies for this post being a little late today, but I wanted to get some other writing stuff done first. This week has been … chaotic.
But now it’s here. So then, what’s that title all about?
Well, I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a bit of self-serving logic behind this. Because, after all, I am an author, and yes, I do like to see support!
But it’s a question I’ve not just heard from my own readers, or mused on my own about. I’ve heard folks in person talking about their favorite book saying “Well, I read it, I bought it, so I don’t know what else to do.”
It’s a legitimate question! After all, unlike musicians, authors don’t go “on tour” in the same way, doing “writing concerts” and mosh-pitting. And when they do go on book tours, they’re something that is free to attend. At most, people buy a new book to get it signed, but many of the people that show up already have a book they want signed.
Same with panels or conventions. The authors that come to those do so out of their own pocket. They may sell items in a vendor hall, but no one pays them for paneling or putting in appearances. It’s all voluntary.
The point I’m making here is that authors aren’t like a lot of other celebrities or purveyors of the arts. They don’t get paid for public appearances, they don’t get paid for gigs … They make money from their books, and their books alone. Maybe some movie rights if they get lucky. Or merchandising. But you’ve got to be big for those to happen. Big enough that the money is just extra on top of a very stable income.
They’re not like musicians where you can buy an album, then a t-shirt, then go to a concert … Authors, basically, just don’t have the same avenues of support other artists have.
Sands, we’ve almost come to expect that too. It’s just become the culture of our society. Who would pay money to see an author in person? For that matter, just look at this site. No ads, each Monday a new article on writing going up, all for free. Because that’s just how authors are in society.
Okay, I don’t honestly want to delve into that too far. The point I wanted to drive home was, as I said, that authors are kind of in a tricky space, insofar as fans “funding” them. There’s not much to it but book sales and merchandising.
This is why, I think, you have so many people who read a good book, enjoy said book, and then think to themselves (or say aloud, as I’ve heard it before) “I really liked this author, but what else can I do besides enjoy them?
Again, this makes sense. If you read something you enjoy, chances are you’d like to read more of it. Which means you want there to be more created, so you want to support the creator and let them know “Hey, this is good, make more of it!”
But with authors, those avenues are slim. So, how then, do you support an author you enjoy?
Well, there are ways. Let’s look at a few.