Budgetary Book Constraints

So we are 10 days into the strict budgets and we are doing pretty well. We had a small section known as Mother’s Day we hadn’t budgeted for, but otherwise we are ahead of the game. Of course while nobody commented on which would be their one book a month for the upcoming months, through the magic of Twitter I was directed to fictfact.com.

Looking through there, I was seeing the enormity of the situation with my book budget. If a trade paperback was coming out, I could skip coffee a couple days and make up the difference. But what am I doing in July when Ghost Story comes out? That is a hard cover bad boy. Moreover that is a hard cover bad boy that will likely not come to Audible right away (as I was hoping).

Furthermore, I entered in the titles I found there in my Google calendar to get a feel for the decisions I had to make. I also noticed that not all the books I knew where coming out in the next couple of months were there. My Life as a White Trash Zombie for instance, wasn’t listed. All of this started as I was deciding that since Dead on the Delta and Neon Graveyard both come out on the 31st this month that one could be my May book, and the other could be my June book. Here is what I found when I looked deeper…

May Books

  • Hounded – Kevin Hearne (out already)
  • Dead on the Delta – Stacey Jay (31st)
  • Neon Graveyard – Vicki Pettersson (31st)

June Books

  • Deadline – Mira Grant (1st)
  • Blackout – Mira Grant (2nd)
  • Hexes and Hemlines – Juliet Blackwell (7th)
  • Hexed – Kevin Hearne (7th)
  • Hammered – Kevin Hearne (28th)
  • Eat Slay Love – Jesse Petersen (28th)

July Books

  • Heartless – Gail Carriger (1st)
  • My Life as a White Trash Zombie – Diana Rowland (5th)
  • Snow Queen’s Shadow – Jim C. Hines (5th)
  • Bloodlust – Michelle Rowen (5th)
  • Dance of Dragons (HC) – George R. R. Martin (12th)
  • Rebirth – Sophie Littlefield (19th)
  • Ghost Story (HC) – Jim Butcher (26th)

August Books

  • Downpour – Kat Richardson (2nd)
  • Bloodhunt – Shannon K. Butcher (2nd)
  • Bloodlines – Richelle Mead (23rd)
  • Succubus Revealed – Richelle Mead (30th)
  • Crossroads – Jeanne Stein (30th)
  • Dust and Decay (HC) – Jonathan Maberry (30th)

Look at that. All of those are books that I am reading the series of, or are new books I was considering picking up from my favorite authors. Only one of the above in the list is an author I have not read before, and he is a member of the League of Reluctant Adults. Seriously though, check it out. July is hell month for me. How do I choose there?

One of the saving graces is contests that get run for books. Ironically Jim C. Hines started one this afternoon (while this blog sat on my laptop half finished). That is by no means a realistic answer, but it always gives one hope. Also, with his book coming out in July I have to look at it honestly. My Life as a White Trash Zombie is my top pick for that month. Were I to pick Ghost Story, I would not only have to take the budget for books that month, but even more from coffee and the like.

The other answer could be selling off the gaming books and such that I have determined that I do not need. Liquidating a few of those should make up enough for an extra book or two. And from the anti-4E comments that even plagued the Roll a D6 discussion on YouTube, it shouldn’t be hard to find people looking for some 3.5 books, right?

Now there is still the possibility of using the library. Ghost Story and Dance of Dragons should be there, right? Here’s the obstacle there… even if I can get it release day (assuming they have enough copies), for popular books like that there is a fee to check them out. So I would have to go without coffee for a day or two just to check one of those books out from the library. How is that even fair? A late fee before you even step out of the door?

Just browsing over the lists, here is what I am seeing:

  • No offense to the other July authors but I have to go with My Life as a White Trash Zombie first. It fits into the budget, it is a book I know I can get personalized (maybe not with debauched stick figures, but still) and if it hits the NYT Bestseller list Diana has said she will get the tattoo on the cover done permanently on her arm.
  • Dead on the Delta is my May book.
  • As we are on a cruise, there is a couple weeks I am not buying dinner at writer’s group. This will more than cover Neon Graveyard (which I will be preordering this week). That makes this a second May book.
  • June will be a tough month to make a decision. No one author/title really stands out there. If I go with signature potential I will have to go League title. If I stick with content, zombies may win out. Which zombie title remains to be seen.
  • July is still going to be hell. After White Trash Zombie it gets rough. Rebirth might take it and I will likely have to wait for Audible to offer Ghost Story (oh and I will be banking a credit until they do). Snow Queen’s Shadow may be my son’s responsibility since I originally bought the goblin series and stepsister series for him.
  • August, I may have to start with Bloodhunt. After that there may be a cage match between Kat and Richelle for the second potential slot. Of course GenCon is that month, so I will be starting from over budget.

If you are wondering what all of this internal blathering that is making it out onto the blog means, the general thought is this… Strict budgets are hard. And having gone 10 days without a coffee that I didn’t brew at home I am finding what things in my original budget are really important to me. Sorry local coffee shops, the authors win.

As nobody had a comment as to the single book you would purchase in each of the coming months, how about a different question to fish for comments? What would you give up to be able to pick up one more book this month?

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One thought on “Budgetary Book Constraints

  1. FWIW, I did not say I would get the tattoo on my *arm*. If I hit the list I’ll get it somewhere on my body, but my darling husband does have some say in the location. 😀

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