Buying My Own Books

13 Nov
My cat doesn’t even read my books.

I decided to buy my own books on Kindle; unlike the print version, where Amazon gives you a discounted author’s copy, with Kindle you have to pay full price. Makes me wonder–how do other writers feel when they see their books in the used book store?

For those who don’t know, my father-in-law was Christopher Stasheff, who was a traditionally published science fantasy author with over 40 books written during his career. I honestly didn’t know who he was before I became friends with his son, better known on this blog as Editor Ed, but I became a big fan of his writing after going to his house for Thanksgiving.

When I later married his daughter, I asked him for some author’s copies to help fill up his place of honor on our shelf… and even he was stingy with giving away his remaining copies. Many of those ended up gracing the shelves of Woodstock School‘s library back in India, since we had to leave in a hurry, and couldn’t move most of our books. We left most of them because we knew we could get copies from the source when we returned to the States.

My daughter doesn’t even read my books.

Of course, five years later, my dad-in-law had even less of his author’s copies back. However, I do like going to used book stores and picked up the copies of Dad Stasheff’s books that I didn’t have in my collection. You could instantly tell when a book wasn’t that good, because there was a lot more copies available. Of course, that could have been because it was mass marketed to death, like your big name authors like Stephen King or Tom Clancy. You can pick up the entire Battlefield Earth sci-fi series easily from any bookstore, because the author was L. Ron Hubbard… and if it’s not holy writ, at least it’s proximal Scientology.

When I asked my favorite sci-fi author, Steve Perry, that question a decade ago, he replied that he didn’t really think about it. It’s not bad–and I’m paraphrasing–if they’re reading my books, who cares where they get it from?

Here are four of the books I’ve got on Kindle.

So that makes me feel a little better about buying my books. Thankfully, my books are pretty cheap, but it still bothers me that I have to pay to get them on my virtual shelf. But… even traditional publishers don’t give away author’s copies anymore. The industry’s changing, and if I wanted to be cheap, I could have created my own .epub document and dropped in Aldiko and had it on my phone that way, but I wanted it in Kindle.

Do you have unfair thoughts about books you see in the used book store? Do you wonder how some books even get published? Do you wish you had some blackmail over a big name publishing editor? Let me know in the comments below!

4 Responses to “Buying My Own Books”

  1. nickreeves November 13, 2020 at 1:48 pm #

    Every charity shop appears to have at least one copy of Margaret Atwood’s Blind Assassin. Many of them unfinished, some barely started. Does she have some sort of deal with these charitable outlets?

    • albigensia November 15, 2020 at 7:08 am #

      Actually listened to that as an audiobook. It’s a great story, but takes some serious time to get going. 😉

  2. SirNolen November 14, 2020 at 8:25 am #

    Here’s a tip that can save you money: use the software “Calibre” to convert your ebook to “.mobi” format (which Kindles can read), then transfer it to your Kindle via USB. It might take a few minutes to show up, but then you should be able to read it.

    You can download Calibre here:

  3. Potterheadaanya November 16, 2020 at 7:08 pm #

    You can send the book to your kindle from downloadable previewer options

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