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Wednesday Midday Links: Amazon Raises Profile of Used Books

Updated: Over at Mobileread.org, a reader pointed out a special that runs out on the 17th. Target is selling Sony eBookstore gift cards worth $25 for only $15. The poster suggests you print out the ad to take with you as the Target employees appear not to be fully aware of this deal. I’ll be driving around tomorrow availing myself of this great deal. via Mobile Read

Angela James pointed out on Twitter last night that Amazon is employing what appears to be a new tool in its pricing battle: used book fulfillment by Amazon. Here are a couple of examples:

Buy Used screenshot

(click for larger image)

Amazon has been accepting trade ins for books since last fall but I hadn’t realized that it was going to do book fulfillment. Powells allows trade ins as well. The trade ins are right under the “Buy New” buttons:

Trade in Changeless

The increased visibility of these buy used + Prime + Fulfilled by Amazon are rare. It’s quite hard to find one. I have no idea if it is going to be more prominent or how Amazon makes money on this but nothing that Amazon does is without reason, particularly its pricing schemes.

I assume that Amazon is ramping up its trade in program. Here you can see the list of romances Amazon is willing to pay for (at least the ones tagged “romance” for Amazon). DS brought the trade in program to my attention a month ago, but I didn’t really get the import of it at the time. In any event, this is bound to make authors angrier with Amazon. Remember when I said that the battle was likely to get uglier? Yeah.

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Congress asked the General Accounting Office in April of 2009 to attempt to quantify the harm of piracy. In a blow to media companies, the GAO has found that the data used by the media industry is unreliable and that the current effect of piracy cannot be quantifiable. GAO acknowledged that piracy is “large and harmful” but that it can also lead to increased sale of legitimate goods.

“Three widely cited U.S. government estimates of economic losses resulting from counterfeiting cannot be substantiated due to the absence of underlying studies,” the GAO said. “Each method (of measuring) has limitations, and most experts observed that it is difficult, if not impossible, to quantify the economy-wide impacts.”

This is not to say that pirating is right and we should all go out and pirate, but it does show that overinflating claims of piracy can hurt the industry and that perhaps more time and money should be devoted to making quality goods available so that those of us who want to buy have legitimate avenues of purchase.

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Penguin is focused on maintaining the romance of the physical book even while acknowledging that digital media will play an important part of its publishing strategy in the future.

People often compare the book industry to the music industry, where digital sales have overtaken sales of CDs, but there is an emotional connection to books, said Makinson, who studied English and history at Cambridge and began his career as a journalist.

“We need to keep the emphasis on the reader’s emotional relationship with the book. It’s still important to produce a well-designed, beautifully printed book that looks good on a shelf, and that you can gift to a friend,” he said.

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Diana Peterfreund blogs about the art of retellings.

The point is, in a retelling, you are taking a particular part of a story (a plot, a character, a story question, a theme) and using it as a jumping off place from which to create something entirely new.

I think that when a part of the story is taken merely as a jumping off place, then it isn’t a retelling. The second story is merely inspired by the original. A retelling remains true to the plot, theme, and meaning of the original but in a reimagined way. That is what make a retelling brilliant aka Clueless and West Side Story, two retellings identified by Peterfreund.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

43 Comments

  1. Robin
    Apr 14, 2010 @ 11:08:36

    I’ve been purchasing used books fulfilled by Amazon (I’m a prime member) for quite a long while now (way before any of this pricing crap started), but the ‘buy used’ buttons are quite new.

    For the most part I buy used when a book is OOP and not available in digital, but now, with the new digital pricing schemes, I’m buying more used from publishers who insist on overcharging me for a digital copy. Hachette just missed out on a sale from me a couple of days ago, in fact.

    I sure hope Amazon is keeping track of how many used books pubbed by the Apple 5 it’s selling now.

  2. Kalen Hughes
    Apr 14, 2010 @ 11:09:53

    Wonder how many authors will continue to link to Amazon?

  3. Ridley
    Apr 14, 2010 @ 11:39:44

    @Kalen Hughes:

    Right, because people never bought used until Amazon did it.

    Honestly, most people I know only buy new books as gifts. Everyone buys used, trades or grabs free stuff at the transfer station.

    Even I stuck only to what I grabbed at library sales until I got laid off and started reading too much to subsist off $.50 paperbacks alone.

  4. Chicklet
    Apr 14, 2010 @ 11:50:45

    I haven’t really looked at Amazon in several months, so I’m not aware of which parts of the used-book fulfillment have been available before now. From what I gather, the new element is Amazon making the “Buy Used” function more visible. If so, then I interpret it as a shot at the Agency 5. In other words, if the Agency 5 won’t let Amazon control the price of the goods Amazon sells for them, then Amazon will try to steer people toward buying the product that Amazon can control the price of: Used books.

    I probably won’t be using the service (I have lots of UBS’s in my city), but it will be interesting to see what happens.

  5. Joanne
    Apr 14, 2010 @ 11:56:15

    Well Lucy, some one has to ‘splain it to me again.

    Penguin may want to “maintain the romance of the physical book” -and okay, I love my paper books more then my ebooks ’cause I OWN THEM- but WTF with the pricing? NAL, which is a sub of Penguin has the new J.R. Ward hardcover listed at $25.95 but Amazon is selling the pre-orders for $9.99.

    Who set that price? Why always discount the books by authors who are almost guaranteed to sell in hardcover anyway? On what planet does this make any sense for the publishers and authors? If it’s a numbers game to push the amount of hardcovers up and keep the ebook numbers down then who is winning at this mess?

    I’m confused- but I’m taking what’s on sale wherever it is- and I’m taking advantage of Amazon gift cards for my pre-read books.

    **There’s unreliable data about ebook piracy? Well, color me shocked and surprised.

  6. Elaine
    Apr 14, 2010 @ 12:04:46

    “We need to keep the emphasis on the reader's emotional relationship with the book. It's still important to produce a well-designed, beautifully printed book that looks good on a shelf, and that you can gift to a friend,” he said.

    I know this makes me sound old, but I can remember when it was easy to tell a hard-cover book published traditionally and the book club version. Books were copy-edited and it was rare to find a typo or grammatical error. Trade paperbacks had sturdy bindings, high quality paper, and ink that didn’t smudge.

    (I also walked to school in snow drifts three feet high, up hill both ways.)

  7. meoskop
    Apr 14, 2010 @ 12:23:22

    @Ridley I rarely buy used. I budget in my books like I do food and other items. Part of it is supporting the author, part of it is that I have asthma, part of it is instant gratification.

    I went digital this summer, but my kids didn’t. Our current budget for a month is $75 for me, $50 for them , which includes the kids manga as well. Some months I go over.

    Last month I didn’t spend any of it because of the pricing issues and we bought the household a Nintendo DSi XL instead. (Books sales lost are just lost, not deferred)

    Back on topic – this, and Sony’s discounted cards, are interesting counter points. It’s authors most hurt in all this, not us readers.

  8. Kalen Hughes
    Apr 14, 2010 @ 12:27:13

    @Ridley: I guess we know very different people. I don’t know anyone who buys used as their first option.

    If we don’t support the art we like (books, music, etc.), there will be less of it around. I see a lot of gnashing of teeth when well liked mid-list authors don’t get new contracts. Guess why that is? Sales. Sales. Sales.

  9. Tabby
    Apr 14, 2010 @ 12:33:57

    @Joanne:

    On what planet does this make any sense for the publishers and authors?

    And there you have it right there why I continue to shop/side with Amazon in this mess. Their business is their customers and they bend over backwards to make their customers happy so they can continue to grow their business. Amazon wants my business, appreciates my business, and they go out of their way to prove it.

    The publishers? I’m just collateral damage to them and they’re fully prepared to write me off in favor of some future customer who might pay more. *So excuse me if I don’t stick around to worry about what’s in it for the publishers and authors. Especially when it’s Amazon who is picking up the tab for their discounted books and the publishers are receiving whatever amount they agreed upon.

    As for the authors? If I’m not the only one refusing to buy from the Agency 5 (and the lost sales aren’t made up for with higher prices and “new” customers) I hope they find a more customer friendly publisher in the future so I can show my support again.

    *Snippiness is directed at the publisher, not Joanne!

  10. Robin
    Apr 14, 2010 @ 12:42:30

    @Tabby:

    The publishers? I'm just collateral damage to them and they're fully prepared to write me off in favor of some future customer who might pay more.

    I honestly think authors are in this category, as well. That many publishers see authors as existing in an endless supply, and if one doesn’t sell there’s ten more where s/he came from.

    So in the meantime, publishers are trying to hold on to the HC model, authors are looking to readers to support their careers, and readers are looking for affordable books. Sadly, I think this will create more antagonism between authors and readers, despite the fact that the PUBLISHER is screwing BOTH authors and readers with this new pricing scheme. Which is why I like Jane’s idea of buying a backlist title from an author I want to support and, if it’s in print, gifting that book to another reader who hasn’t yet read it. It upsets me that some authors may not survive this pricing bs with new contracts intact, but IMO that’s the publisher’s fault, NOT the fault of readers who can’t/won’t pay unreasonably high prices for digital books.

  11. Jane
    Apr 14, 2010 @ 12:49:18

    Before I started blogging, I always went to the half price bookstore first. I, like meoskop, have a budget for books and I wanted to maximize that budget. So there were a few must buys on my list but almost all my browsing buys would have been done at the UBS.

    After I started blogging and started to understand the correlation between sales and what was in print, I did start buying more new and when digital books were proffered at a good rate, I bought even more new because I would rather pay a little extra and see that money go to the author than to buy used.

    But if I were a reader faced with $4 used + free shipping for a book that would cost me $8 + free shipping? It’s not hard to do the math.

  12. library addict
    Apr 14, 2010 @ 13:10:19

    So are the big yellow Buy Used buttons only for Agency 5 books?

    I have gotten some used, OOP books from Amazon in the past. But I’ve had mixed luck with them. Some of the ones described as “new” or “like new” condition, I would not have described that way at all.

    As for Penguin, I would also like a well-designed, well-formatted ebook I could gift to a friend :P

  13. Tabby
    Apr 14, 2010 @ 13:12:31

    Robin, I agree with you up to a point. The current crop of authors are certainly left to dangle in the wind while the publishers try and fortify their business. But I think the authors are actually backing the publishers in this move. Of course they think their books are worth more than what we pay for them–they work hard writing them!

    So even though I think the result of this mess will be lost sales, increased piracy and just bad for publishing in general. The publishers and authors (I assume) are hoping this gamble will pay off down the road with higher prices, more money and a weaker Amazon. And if it does? Good for them–everyone wants to make more money. (Why authors think they’ll share in the profits is beyond me but that’s another topic.) So I’m really not feeling all that sympathetic to authors in general right now just because I think they’re willing to write me off as a reader too in the hopes of making more in the future.

  14. Jane
    Apr 14, 2010 @ 13:15:19

    There aren’t enough of these “BUY USED” sidebars to make an assessment. I looked for about a half an hour last night and found a total of three. They are far more prevalent on the video game and movie pages.

    It could be coincidental that Amazon is rolling these out now or it could be intentional.

  15. MaryK
    Apr 14, 2010 @ 14:11:20

    It’s not just “buy used + Prime + Fulfilled by Amazon.” It’s also “buy used + Super Saver + Fulfilled by Amazon.”

    Shoppers without Prime memberships also benefit.

  16. Lori
    Apr 14, 2010 @ 14:26:18

    Amazon also emails customers who bought new and invites them to do a trade-in. I’ve been invited to trade in games often, no books yet though.

  17. Ridley
    Apr 14, 2010 @ 15:30:48

    @Kalen Hughes:

    Once I went digital I started buying new like it was my job, so I feel you there.

    However, the average person is not about supporting authors or a genre community when they decide to read something. They’re looking to be entertained at the cheapest price point they can. Even the RWA stats, which are a few years old, admittedly, show half of all romance readers buy used, at least sometimes.

    Ebook adoption was never the industry’s problem.

  18. willaful
    Apr 14, 2010 @ 16:01:57

    I wonder what effect this might have on paperbackswap and similar sites. And if hurting that market might also be on Amazon’s agenda.

  19. Darlynne
    Apr 14, 2010 @ 18:33:01

    I just went to my Amazon wish list where I keep track of things recommended here and on other review websites. The first figure is the Amazon price for a new copy, the second is the Fulfilled by Amazon used price, which includes Prime shipping.

    Flowers from the Storm ($7.99 or $4.00)
    Rules of Gentility ($11.92 or $4.00)
    Black Water Rising ($17.15 or $7.34)
    This Wicked World ($16.31 or $10.40)

    Gail Carriger’s Changeless already has the Trade-in-Here option, offering $4.05 Amazon credit. Larissa Ione’s Ecstasy Unveiled can be traded in, but only for .90 credit, while Carrie Vaughn’s Voices of Dragons would return $6.15.

    Almost all of the titles I examined carried a banner across the top of the page, indicating that this title and “over 480,000 other books are available for Amazon Kindle – Amazon's new wireless reading device.”

    The references to Prime shipping are all over the place as well. In fact, my BIL, who has Prime, was given the opportunity by Amazon to invite three other people, for free, to one year of Prime. I was one of them.

    I guess we’re living in interesting times.

  20. jmc
    Apr 14, 2010 @ 19:51:02

    Hmm. I can spend $9.20 to buy The Wedding Officer new, for $4.00 for a used copy, or $4.79 for a Kindle copy. HeartSick is $7.99 new or Kindle, $2.98 used. Molly Ivins’ biography breaks down as $17.79 new, $14.82 for Kindle, and $8.75 used. Similar pricing for a Dorothy Koomson book, although the discount is not as great ($5.99 vs. $3.87).

    I might dither between the used copy and the Kindle version for TWO, but otherwise the used copy wins my money each time; the new version would be discarded immediately as a buying option.

  21. Anthea Lawson
    Apr 14, 2010 @ 22:46:35

    @Tabby:

    I think there’s a lot of misunderstanding about the role of authors in the publishing world. Seriously, do you think for a minute that publishers asked authors for any input around this decision? I can guarantee they did not.
    So, let’s say author A doesn’t agree with the Agency model their publisher just moved to. They… what? Tell their publisher they’re leaving, breach their current contracts, and walk? I can ALSO guarantee it will be difficult to find a warm reception at a new publishing house. But let’s say they decide to go anyway. They put together a new proposal, and it makes the rounds of the few houses that did not subscribe to the Agency model. In the current publishing climate it’s taking about 6 months to hear back when you’re “on submission.” Yes, even if you have an agent it’s taking that long, or longer. For at least a half a year, the author will have no idea if they will have another sale, another advance, a continued career as a published author. Maybe they make that sale… hooray! But maybe the word had gone out that they’re a bad risk for a publisher. No sale. Maybe for years – if they’re willing to even keep pursuing re-publication for that long. Meanwhile there’s pesky things like bills and rent and car payments…

    The author is waaaay down on the food chain when it comes to the world of publishing. And the industry knows that for every published author, there’s hundreds more panting for the chance to get published, and willing to make ever more concessions to see that happen.

    I am eagerly waiting to see how digital publishing is going to further impact the amount of control and power authors have over their careers. It can certainly get better. :)

  22. Janet W
    Apr 15, 2010 @ 00:04:18

    I buy tons of used books from Amazon, usually OOP books from authors I’m glomming. I think you and others missed the big change in the way Amazon treats used book buyers — and it happened months ago.

    Hitherto, you could only buy used books individually (not sure if you were Amazon Prime but I’m not). That meant a book costing .01 always cost you, the consumer, $4.00 because of the mandatory shipping/mailing cost (even though it’s almost always mailed Media Mail). But one day there was this subtle and very helpful shift: you could buy slightly more expensive used books and BUNDLE them to reach the magic $25 free shipping level.

    I buy a lot of used books from the Rainy Day Paperback Exchange in CT because they have free shipping over $25 but this is new from Amazon. If books are old, I’m almost always buying used. If I’m crazed about an author, then new. Don’t do digital … yet … and it seems like if I had I’d be tearing my hair out by the roots so I’m glad I haven’t … yet :)

  23. Sandy James
    Apr 15, 2010 @ 04:23:15

    I’m ambivalent about my books being sold used. Of course I’d like people to buy them new, but honestly, I’m thrilled when anyone reads them! I was, however, a bit surprised to see several used copies were “signed by the author.” A bit curious as to who I signed them for and how they ended up with used book sellers.

  24. Heather
    Apr 15, 2010 @ 09:58:26

    @Sandy James:

    With the caveat that I’m only speaking for myself here…

    For me, a signed book doesn’t mean I automatically keep the book. I prefer my books unsigned; having an author signature has just never done something for me. But sometimes you can’t avoid it…winning a raffle basket, supporting a published friend, a gift from a well-meaning relative. I have bookshelves overflowing with books and very few “keepers.” Sometimes I give them to friends or GoodWill, sometimes I list books for sale on Amazon. For me, it’s not that I want more money since it’s signed, but I want to give an honest condition description for the buyer.

    I don’t know if that helps explain it and I’m sure everyone has their own reasons.

  25. Vi
    Apr 15, 2010 @ 11:16:05

    Help me understand: how does Amazon “encouraging” buyers to purchase used books help them make money?

    I have been reading romance books long enough to understand the plight of the mid-list author. That’s why I rely on review sites and other such places to help guide my buying decision. Books are part of my “have-to’s” like food, heat, electricity.

    The key is the author has to earn his/ her right to take part of my hard earned pay. That’s why used books are invaluable. Maybe I don’t buy it new the first time, but if I love the book enough, I will definitely consider buying the next book new.

  26. willaful
    Apr 15, 2010 @ 11:39:37

    I’m wondering about the financial end of it too, especially since I did a game trade-in through Amazon. I literally got more (via gift card) than I had originally paid for the game. Admittedly, I had to spend it at Amazon, so that’s to their advantage. But I wonder if they’re pulling a “Walmart” here — doing whatever it will take to drive smaller businesses out, then they can charge what they want. On the other hand, that probably doesn’t work the same way with online businesses.

  27. Christina
    Apr 15, 2010 @ 11:40:29

    @willaful: I don’t think buying used from Amazon will hurt a site like Paperbackswap. Amazon Market Place was around long before they turned to accepting trade-ins. PBS has an affiliate link to Amazon, so swappers can still support PBS if they decide they want to buy certain books new instead of waiting out the huge wishlists. Swapping on PBS is a bit more cheaper than buying used on Amazon, since it’s the owner of the book who pays for shipping (unsually under $4.00). Also, PBS has no memebership fee and it recently partnered with some company to sell overstock books for a combination of $ and credits.

    I look at Amazon’s trade-in feature as just another book buying option. I usually buy new from Amazon and put my non-keepers on PBS, sometimes getting a older, used book with my credit. Now, I have the option is sometimes trading in for Amazon gift cards…and buy more new books (rinse, repeat).

  28. Sandy James
    Apr 15, 2010 @ 13:52:11

    @Heather:

    Makes perfect sense to me. I can’t possibly remember everyone I give a signed book to, nor does my signature really mean all that much. lol

  29. willaful
    Apr 15, 2010 @ 14:29:46

    @Christina: Given a choice between paying to ship a book to someone at paperbackswap, and getting free shipping plus a gift card from Amazon, I very probably would choose the later. The worth of a paperbackswap credit (1 book) might be more in theory, but if I can’t use it to get the books I want because of long wish list lines, a smaller amount of value towards something I really want would be preferable.

    And of course, it’s those popular books that will score the most credit with Amazon, making them less and less available at places like paperbackswap, making the PBS credits even less valuable.

  30. Sandy James
    Apr 15, 2010 @ 14:37:07

    @Vi:

    On behalf of authors everywhere — Thank you! And we love you!

  31. DS
    Apr 15, 2010 @ 16:14:07

    @Sandy James: Ever signed a stack for a bookstore? Sometimes they end up being returned and remaindered.

  32. Sandy James
    Apr 15, 2010 @ 16:31:46

    @DS:

    I’m small press POD, so not carried in bookstores. I did have a signing at the local B&N, so maybe some of those filtered in… And as said earlier, might be from gift baskets or GoodReads giveaways. Just happy to have people reading my stories!! :)

  33. Vi
    Apr 15, 2010 @ 17:09:09

    Ms. James: I am embarrassed to accept your praise. I am a retail manager so I understand the importance (and, OMG, the pressure) of sales.
    Off now to check what kinda books you write…

  34. Sandy James
    Apr 15, 2010 @ 17:13:06

    @Vi:

    To take the time to post such good advice on a huge forum like Dear Author says how author-friendly you are. Praise was deserved.

    Please prowl my website. I’d be honored to gain a new reader. :)

  35. Christina
    Apr 15, 2010 @ 20:04:02

    @willaful: (re: books being less available at PBS and the like) I suppose that will depend on whether or not the swappers on PBS or a similar site are willing to switch over to buying used through Amazon. I’m sure there is a segment of that population that will NEVER buy from, or trade with, them.

    I think I got what you’re saying about the value. Here’s my take. I hope it makes sense. :-)

    Using Darlynne’s list from way above, if I had Kinsale’s Flower from the Storm, I would trade it to Amazon because there are currently 35 copies available on PBS. This means it would sit on my shelf longer than necessary. I assume I have to pay postage and mail it from the post office (do they have print postage option for trade-ins?? Must investigate this.)

    I have Ione’s Ecstasy Unveiled and there are 149 people wishing for the book on PBS. I could list my copy and it would be snatched up immediately for the price of postage (I don’t have to go to the post office to mail it). And I do like fulfilling another reader’s wish, if possible. :-)

    In the end, it’s whatever works best for the individual. Some will continue use swap sites or their local UBS, even if they do buy new through Amazon. :-)

  36. illukar
    Apr 15, 2010 @ 21:30:22

    Meh – used books have always been around. If there’s a used book, it means it sold new at some point.

    I do get a little sad thinking about the number of authors who might go from barely making it to below subsistence level because of Amazon’s attempts to constantly push prices lower – not for the benefit of their customers, but to maintain market dominance. It seems like only the tiniest minority can manage to be full-time writers – and to me that just means fewer books by my favourite authors because they’re all off working their day jobs.

  37. Christina
    Apr 15, 2010 @ 22:02:15

    @illukar: I could be wrong, but from my understanding, the writer is paid from the publisher’s share. If the agreement is that the publisher gets $4.00 per paperback sold, the writer’s take comes from that. When Amazon discounts the books, they are cutting into their bottom line, not the publisher’s.

    If I’m wrong, my apologies. It’s late, I should be in bed. :)

  38. willaful
    Apr 15, 2010 @ 22:20:26

    @Christina: No, Amazon pays the postage, which heavily influences the perceived value, to me.

  39. Tabby
    Apr 15, 2010 @ 23:21:32

    @Anthea Lawson:

    Seriously, do you think for a minute that publishers asked authors for any input around this decision?

    No. I’m not really sure what I wrote that gave you (or anyone else) the impression I did? I’d also never ask or expect an author to base any career decision based on anything other than what they think is in their own best interest.

  40. Tabby
    Apr 16, 2010 @ 00:01:16

    @Vi:

    Help me understand: how does Amazon “encouraging” buyers to purchase used books help them make money?

    This is such a good move by Amazon I can’t think of how it doesn’t help their business.

    Amazon already does a brisk business with their new and ebook sales it makes perfect sense for them to enter the used book market in a bigger way as well. And by trying to meet all the needs of their book customers they build customer loyalty and satisfaction in the process. There’s also the chance their used book sales will bring in brand new customers they never would have had otherwise. It’s also been shown that people tend to spend more than the amount of gift certificates. So every time a customer trades in book for a gift card not only does that guarantee that customer is coming back hopefully they’ll “pick up” something else while they’re already shopping. New customers, happy customers, repeat customers, larger sales–all of that is great for the bottom line.

  41. Nadia Lee
    Apr 16, 2010 @ 00:02:41

    @Christina: It really depends on individual situations / contracts, but in general, authors are paid a % of cover price. For most MMPB, it’s around 6-8% of cover price, though it can go lower or higher depending on the author involved (I suspect someone like JKR can demand more) and so on.

  42. MaryK
    Apr 16, 2010 @ 10:13:18

    I buy new books. I buy ebooks. I buy used books. I swap at PBS.

    The rate at which I do each is constantly changing based on availability, price, how eager I am to read the book, how much I like the author, etc. I don’t envision a time when I’d do any one of those acquisition methods exclusively.

  43. Kristi
    Apr 16, 2010 @ 14:47:41

    There have been times in my life where every book I bought was used. I’m thinking back to the ramen noodle days, when my local library wouldn’t carry a book that had more than the most G-rated closed-mouth kiss in it, so there was little option. Buy used, or go without. And I’m an addict :)

    These days with a comfortable salary, I still read some of those same authors I found on the used bookstore shelves, and pre-order their hardcovers. I read 50+ books a year (not counting the stuff for the kids). I am exactly the sort of reader that an author wants to have.

    I do still, sometimes, buy used (just recently picked up a couple off of Amazon, shipping with the Prime option) of books that I’d been searching for at every bookstore and library. They may or may not be actually “out of print”, but Amazon only offered them used so probably are not in print at the moment.

    I also check out books from the library, and occasionally read a digital book (have been waiting on e-book readers to really up the ante on features vs price before diving in there…but I doubt I’ll wait more than another year before my bookshelves complain too loudly to ignore).

    I am also an aspiring writer, and I know that buying a used book does not pay the author one additional cent. But if I buy book 1 of a series off the library sale table, and then buy the next 3 new in hardcover, is the author really losing out?

    Also, I am terribly amused that Amazon lists Amanda Quick’s upcoming release Burning Lamp (not due out till next week, and one I’m waiting on), as wanted for trade-in :)

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