Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Guest post by author Cyndia Depre

The other day I was contacted and asked if I would be willing to have a guest post on my blog by author Cyndia Depre. I read info on one of her books, Amanda's Rib, and thought sure, it sounds interesting and I like to help authors promote their work, so what do I have to lose? I am so glad I did! I think all of you will enjoy what she had to say. ---Kris

I was stuck coming up with a blog idea. Do people want to know minute details about writing? If I knew everyone here writes, I’d go on and on about point of view, query letters or the first sentence of a novel. Writers can merrily discuss these issues for hours. To find inspiration I read some of Kris’ blogs, and found what I was looking for. She hit on one of my touchy spots. Oddly enough, one I have no hard and fast opinion on. For me that’s quite an event.

Buying books vs borrowing is something near and dear to an author’s heart. There are so many sides to the debate, so many things to consider. I want people to read my books. Period. But a person has to be practical. If my books don’t sell, I lose my publisher. Then no one reads my novels. Books are a luxury. I think most authors know that. Even those who bristle when you say, “My friend loaned me your book and I loved it!” And many do bristle. But deep inside they have to know that person probably wouldn’t have read their work if not for the friend or a library.

Years ago my nephew visited and brought a lot of his CDs. He wanted to put them on my computer. He was also big on borrowing CDs. No biggie. Not really. Or is it? We discussed the situation, and I told him I’d prefer to buy the music. “What it comes down to is pretty basic,” I said. “Do you want these musicians to come out with a new album once a year or once every five years? Because if they’re waiting tables or bartending to get by, they don’t have a lot of time to create.” The same is true of writers. If we’re scribbling in our spare time, after spending a hard day working for someone else, it’ll be a long time between books. If people like reading the same five or ten or twenty authors over and over, it’s not a problem. If folks want new writers, there’s a price.

But books are expensive. Too expensive if you ask me. I can’t expect people on a tight budget to buy Amanda’s Rib or Oblivious. But I do want to help them escape and relax at the end of a tough day. That’s one reason friends and libraries are so valuable. So I’m in a quandary. I loan books to friends. But only one by any author. If they want a second by the same author, I tell them to buy it or go to the library. I’m not trying to be mean. I’m trying to support the author. For the record, I’ve always done this. It’s not something new since I began writing. I’m big on supporting people struggling to survive in any venture.

I donate books to libraries and shelters and charities. Some are my books, some were written by others. Books are always appreciated. There isn’t enough room in my house for all the books I’ve read, so I have to limit what I keep. My room is special, with shelves covering three walls. I can keep a lot of books, but still need more space. When I walk in here, I feel an instant peace. Like I’m surrounded by buddies. With no kids, I can afford to indulge my one hobby. Jewelry doesn’t do much for me. I couldn’t care less what kind of car I drive. Fancy clothes collect dust in my closet while I trot around in jeans. My passion is books. But I have no children to feed, clothe, and educate. If I did, they’d come first.

So we’re back where we started. If you can afford to buy, support the author. If money is tight, borrow a book and treat yourself to a few hours of entertainment. The one thing you can’t do is stop reading.


Ladytink_534 said...

I seriously wish I could buy all the books I read to support all of the authors but I just have to make due with my reviews getting the word out. I'm one of the library's most recognizable patrons. They all know me by name lol.

Kris said...

Ladytink - I've just gotten lucky in the last few years that we make enough for me to have an "allowance" that I can spend on my hobbies. I'm sure once we have kids that will change though! and like the author said...nomatter how we get our books...we just can't stop reading!

Cyndia said...

I am so lucky to be able to buy books. Like I said, it's pretty much my only hobby. Cooking doesn't count since everyone needs to eat. I love finding a new author and taking a chance with them. I've found some real gems, and a few clunkers. But it is a luxury I truly enjoy. As long as people read, they are using their time wisely in my opinion.