by Jill Williamson
We're starting something new at Go Teen Writers. It's called, Support an Author.
I've been a published author since 2009. And while I am finally starting to make a little money off this job, “little” is the key word. If my husband didn't have a job that could pay our bills, I wouldn't be able to write.
There are a lot of misconceptions out there that authors are rich. This is not true. As you all can probably imagine, authors work very hard for years for nothing in hopes that they will one day be published and start to earn a living. But most authors are discouraged to learn that it takes years to start earning that living. That few authors become as successful as J.K. Rowling, John Grisham, James Patterson, or Stephen King. Few become half so successful. The same is true of all the arts whether you paint, do photography, or write music and sing. You work hard at your craft, you put yourself out there, and you hope that something might take off someday, but you love it so much you just keep on creating.
I guess that why they call them “starving artists.”
I say all this not to gain your sympathy, but to motivate you. You are one of these authors, after all. This is your industry. And while there are lots of ways to get books free these days, whether you get review copies, win contests, or check books out at your local library, free books don't keep authors in print.
So, if you have a favorite author, I encourage you to buy at least one new copy of his or her books a year. Buy one new book a month, if you can. We're only talking ten to twenty dollars. Show your support for the industry you have decided to be a part of. Sadly, it’s not enough that readers like an author’s books. If no one will buy them, that author might not get to keep writing. It's happening right now to friends of mine.
And used books don’t help an author. The stores need to know which authors sell.
We're doing this here at Go Teen Writers. As part of the new Support an Author plan, whenever we do a giveaway, Stephanie or I will purchase the book for that prize new from Barnes & Noble or Amazon and mail it to the winner. And when I give mine away, Steph will buy it. And when she gives hers away, I'll pay for the book. We're tired of hearing about authors struggling, and we want to do what we can to support each other and our industry. So, spread the work. Encourage people to buy a new book every once in a while. You just might be helping a guy feed his family. And that's pretty sweet.
Let’s support the authors we love.
If you've bought a new book in the past couple months, share what book it was in the comments. And, anytime you buy a new book, feel free to post on the GTW Facebook page what you bought so we can see what people are reading. I'll start. I recently bought:
Hurt by Travis Thrasher
The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley