Mandy's Musings

Ramblings of romance author Madeline Baker/Amanda Ashley

Friday, September 30, 2005

Touchy Subject

On one of the author links I belong to, writers have been talking about ways to make readers aware of the fact that neither the author nor the publisher makes a profit off of used books. Every time someone buys a book from a used book store or from one of the book sites online that sell used books,authors lose money. If you think it's a matter of only a few dollars, an article in last week's L.A. Times stared that sales of used books online jumped 33% in 2004, to just over EIGHT HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS.

Authors understand that sometimes an old book can’t be found anywhere else, and that there are times when finances simply don’t allow for buying a new book. However, if you buy your used books on line, in many cases, by the time you pay for the used book and the postage, you could almost buy the book new for the same price.

Used books take money away from the author. If you buy a writer’s current book used, not only does she not make any money on that book, but it doesn’t show up on the publisher’s records as a book sold.

The publishing industry is all about one thing - NUMBERS. If an author’s sales fall on Book A, then book buyers won’t buy as many copies of Book B, and so on. If sales drop far enough, that author won’t be writing for that particular publisher much longer. I know this from personal experience. My contract was not renewed with one of my publishers this year because “my numbers were down”.

Right now, things are tough in the publishing industry. Many people believe that all authors are making scads of money, but that just isn’t true. Only a small number of authors make enough money from their writing to live on, and an even smaller number are on the same scale as Nora Roberts or J.K. Rowling. A large number of authors hold down full time jobs and write on the side.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you should never buy used books. Sometimes a used book store is the only place where you can find a book that’s gone out of print. But if possible, please buy your books new. An author will thank you for it. And that author might be me!

If you want to read more on this subject, go here


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Just Hi

Wow, how the time flies. I can't believe the last time I posted was September 6th. Of course, I haven't had anything exciting to write about...and still don't. Basically, I'm stopping in to say hi.

It's been raining here. Last night we had thunder and some awesome lightning, both of which I love. I'd hoped it would cool things off, but it didn't. Still in the 80s, which is certainly better than the high 90s we were having a few weeks ago.

I've been hard at work on my new vamp book and just recently went over the half-way mark. Another 40,000 words or so, and I'm finished!

My book, Shades of Gray, was reissued this month. Dakota Dreams will be out in January; Desire After Dark in February.

And that, as they say, is all the news that's fit to print.



A bus carrying only ugly people crashes into an oncoming truck and everyone inside the bus dies. They then get to meet their Maker and because of the grief they
have experienced He decides to grant them each one wish each before they enter Paradise.

They're all lined up and God asks the first one what the wish is.
"I want to be gorgeous " and so God snaps His fingers and it is done.

The second one in line hears this and says "I want to be gorgeous too." Another snap Of His fingers and the wish is granted.

This goes on for a while. But when God is halfway down the line, the last guy in the line starts laughing. When there are only ten people left this guy is rolling on the floor laughing his head off!

Finally, God reaches this guy and asks him what his wish will be. The guy eventually calms down and says, "Make'em all ugly again."


Sunday, September 04, 2005

Life is uncertain….eat dessert first!

I read my horoscope last week. I don’t remember what it said word for word, but it was something to the effect that something would happen that would make me realize how quickly everything in your life could turn around. Katrina certainly brought that home to thousands of people this past week. And even though I’m miles away from New Orleans, it made me stop and think about how quickly you can lose everything you think is important. My heart goes out to those who have lost their loved ones, their homes, their city.

It also served as a grim reminder of just how thin the layer of civilization is and how this kind of tragedy brings out the very best, and the very worst, in people.