Twice a year, our town library has a used book sale to benefit the library. They cover all the tables of the alternative school's cafeteria with every kind of book imaginable (except the ones fit to be covered with discreet brown paper wrappers, I was told). And most of the time I try to remember to show up and support them. Now that I'm an author, I realize that all these books were once sold brand-new and the author received royalties on that sale. But what about now? They don't.
I also realized as I look at those rows and rows of books that I don't mind. Of course I'd like to sell a ton of books, but I also realize the value of free (or inexpensive) samples. There's a population of readers who aren't "cheap" people, but for whom buying books at full price is a luxury. Part of me can't begrudge them the experience of getting lost in a story.
And truly, what place did we get most of our reading done as kids--and then try to escape from? The library, where we can read for free.
Those free or cheap sample books can lead to future sales for those authors whose books covered the tables. I've got a stack of books I'll probably still be working on when the next sale comes in April.
The town library had me be their guest speaker in February for their volunteer appreciation dinner. Let me tell you, the library people make authors feel like rock stars. And I owe a lot of my writer's journey to them.
Anyone been to some good book sales lately?