Friday 12 July 2019

Authors who Practise Minimalism

This is part of the answer I wrote to someone doing a survey on reading... I'd be interested to know your take on the issue.

I think more and more people are writing books because there are so many different ways to publication now. I also see a lot of people practising minimalist lifestyles, where they pride themselves on having very few possessions. I think that mindset, although I sympathise with it, is quite unsettling for authors. We rely on people BUYING our books and – yes – keeping them. If someone buys a $10.00 book of mine, I get around $.50 to keep – before taxes. If that person gives that book away, or sends it to the second-hand market… well, lots of people might read that copy but I’ll never get any more than the initial $0.50. What I find really weird is that some of the minimalist-lifestyle-espousing people I know are authors themselves. In my view, authors should buy new books on a regular basis. It’s one way to support our own industry. I truly believe reading and writing books will be with us for a long time to come, but that the industry will continue to evolve. There have been some blind alleys, but I do think that evolving is good for reading/writing in some ways. I hate to use the term relevant, but in this case it’s…um…relevant!
  And yes; I practise my own form of industry support. I buy books. I buy audio books every month. I buy e-books (especially from the two companies that publish some of mine), and I go into the local bookshop every so often, buy a picture book or junior novel (usually by an Aus author), and give it to the assistant to put under the counter with instructions to give it to a young customer who has already bought something, or who is accompanying a book-buyer. That way the author gets a sale, the bookseller gets a sale, and some deserving child gets an unexpected gift. Win/win/win!.

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