National Buy a Book Day

Writing as a Community: September 7th

Last time I touched on the idea of writing as a large community. I gave a nod to some of the people that have helped me and continue to motivate me in my writing. Today I am going global. Sure, it is being called National Buy a Book Day, but that was just because someone decided to call it that. Honestly, I don’t remember where it started, just that I was watching it being passed around Twitter and other social media like a cheap whore and it caught my eye.

The reasons I am bringing this up now are many and varied. It may have to do with the fact that I was due for another blog. It may have to do with the situation of waiting for my Highlander TCG night ready to start and I am waiting for the players to show up. It may even have to do with the blog I read today that I was directed to thanks to a tweet from Stacia Kane. (And honestly if you have not read the blog on “How to Help a Starving Author” you really should, it is more concise than mine.)

In an update (as I never finished this blog last week when I started it) Borders has announced a joining with Build-a-Bear to offer teddy bears in the store as an effort to combat lost sales to online retailers. In the world of food service, many places are adopting the buy locally, think globally aspect – like Bleeding Heart Bakery in Chicago. They buy their ingredients local when possible. I support the same idea for game stores. Yeah, I may save $4 if I buy that new D&D book off of Amazon, but what about the local game store that holds weekly events for me and allows me to host a weekly game night there? Don’t they deserve my extra $4 for the service they give me?

Same idea, but in this instance it is keeping our local bookstores in business. Even if in your area the “local” bookstore is part of a huge chain. More than just them, this is a chance to help out the midlist authors. If you are not familiar with the term, this refers to the majority of the authors out there. These are not your Stephen Kings, Stephanie Meyers, Jim Butchers or Charline Harrises. A midlister would be the author that is either writing while maintaining a day job or who has learned to exist on next to nothing for income. For me personally, this group contains most of my favorite authors and all of the people who have mentored me in one way or another – both knowingly and unknowingly.

The plan is on Tuesday September 7th to walk in to a brick and mortar book store. You can still bring your Nook with you, but the plan is to find a book on the shelves (or maybe even a couple if you can manage it) and purchase them. A real honest-to-goodness forest-killing book. If you do this, then this unpublished author will thank you for keeping the dream alive.

Me personally, I am going to take it a step further. Purchase a new, full-priced book that is an author you do not know. Take a recommendation from booksellers in the store. Maybe ask a friend who they are reading right now and pick up something they are enjoying. If you are feeling really adventurous try out a title in a genre you are not familiar with.

Are you a literary fiction nut who thinks that genre fiction like science fiction and urban fantasy are the Michael Bay movies of the literary world? Try reading a strongly recommended urban fantasy title. Think that romance novels are all just bodice-rippers? Find a romance title in a sub-genre close to your favorites, mysteries, paranormal, historical, etc. Try something new.

For my own part I have been looking into some genres that I would like to pull elements from for my own writing, but I am personally going a step further and only looking at books that are in the genres I want to pull elements from but are not NY Times Bestsellers. No offense at all to the best sellers, but I am looking to put some monetary love where it will impact the midlisters the most. After all, the top item of my Bucket List is to be among the ranks of the midlist authors.

I will put up suggestions for books over the next week that I can honestly say I enjoyed. I am also going to ask if you do this, post a comment below with what you picked up. Maybe a short explanation to why you chose it as well.

Note: Thanks to Jaye Wells, I have found the original blog written by Phillip Athans.

2 thoughts on “National Buy a Book Day

  1. While I can appreciate the sentiment here, what happens if you do not have a local bookstore? For me to get to the nearest bookstore, it’s three hours (one way) via public transportation. That’s why I usually mail order, but more to the point, why I do so much reading on my Kindle. I don’t have to wait for a ride to the store, and I don’t have to spend the entire day traveling on buses and trains, and more than likely leave the store empty-handed because they don’t have what I am looking for in-stock, which has happened more times than I care to count when I walk into a bookstore. This isn’t so much as “Buy a Book Day”, because if that were the case, e-books are books and mail-order is buying a book; this is a “Help Your Bookstore Stay A-Float Day”.

    • I can see your point. Even with a Barnes and Noble 3 minutes away I still buy most of my stock on my Nook. If you pick up something on the Nook or Kindle, you are right – it will directly help the midlist author. I can also relate to the distance, having moved in the past year or two from a town that was a minimum of a 35 minute drive from the closest bookstore.

      Respectfully though, I do maintain that helping the midlist authors AND the brick and mortar store does good for the global book community as a whole. So in your instance, I would probably suggest the same concept, just on your Kindle. You never know, you might find a new author that you enjoy.

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