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Powell's Interview: Jeff VanderMeer, Author of 'Borne'
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Beyond the Headlines
3 Responses to "Book News for Wednesday, April 5, 2006"
April 6, 2006 at 10:14 AM
It's a better article than Brockman's lead-in implies, but I still think Doerr is taking a useless and misguided stance. Let's see: readers should spend $15 on a book they've already read (for free) in the hopes that a publisher, somewhere down the road, sees that bump in sales figures and decides to take a chance on the author's latest work. So this is the new model? Read a book for free, pay only once you've decided that it's worth the cover price? That's some real forward thinking, Mr. Doerr. Sorry, but the fact is that people spend on books what they spend on books. If someone pays $15 for your book after enjoying a library copy, that's $15 that won't be spent on someone else's book. Library users are library users; book buyers are book buyers. Many people use the library AND buy books, but there's only so much money to go around. If I like a book, I'm a lot more likely to buy a copy (or more than one copy) for friends. But the day I spend my money to help tweak an author's sales... well, it's not coming anytime soon. Sounds to me like a problem between authors and publishers. If I want to support a charity, there are more deserving causes.
April 5, 2006 at 01:53 PM
Richard, and everyone, I recommend you read Doerr's very good article, in which all of your questions and concerns are answered, and then some.
April 5, 2006 at 11:33 AM
I think Doerr is overlooking the matter of how many kids become lifelong readers
of libraries. Think of it as an investment: they get the first one for free, you hook 'em, and they can't wait to buy later books brand-new in hardcover. I still buy books from the authors i really love... just not the ones I don't like so much. And, for that matter, should the consumer be punished because authors get screwed for royalties by publishers? I mean, what does it really cost to publish a trade paperback, two or three bucks?
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