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Old 02-10-2010, 02:09 PM   #1
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Help me with my first activist effort: a 'reward the author' campaign

I think it's very important that in addition to fighting to get changes made to stuff that isn't working, we also encourage those who are doing it right. I put together a list of suggestions for ways we can reward those authors who really are doing it the right way. What do you think? Is there anything I should add to the list of suggestions? Does anyone want to participate in this? (if so, I encourage you to email me and let me know which books you are rewarding, so I can review them and also keep a tally of how many authors have been reached with the effort). Here is a link to my website, and here is what I posted:

REWARD AN AUTHOR!

This website aims to promote books from quality authors, both public domain/free and 'for sale but fair.' What do I mean by 'for sale but fair' exactly? I mean a book that is...

* Of commercial quality, well-written and free from major errors in content or in editing
* Available for sale in a DRM-free format
o which can be converted for use by the customer using standard software such as Calibre (please donate if use this software!)
o without geographical restrictions
o without restrictions on number or brand of device it can be read on
* Priced at a reasonable level such that authors can earn a fair profit and customers can buy books at a rate competitive with paper books

If you read a book that meets these criteria---it's a GOOD book by an author who gets it---I hope you will reward the author in one or more of the following ways:

* Email me so that I can review the book for inclusion on this site or other venues in which I review
o Tell me what book (title and author) you have rewarded so I can list it here)
* If the author has a tip jar on their website, go there and tip them
* If a paper copy is available, buy it to support the author, then donate it to the library
* If a paper copy is not available, buy an ebook copy as a gift for a friend (Fictionwise has a 'buy this book for a friend' option)
* Write the author a letter or email in which you let them know that you have bought their ebook and want to support them because they are getting it right
* Post a review on a blog or website (such as Mobile Read) to help the author attract new fans

Here is a sample of a letter you might send to the author:

Dear (Author Name)

I am writing today to let you know how much I enjoyed your book (book name). I enjoyed (details of what you enjoyed). I was especially happy to buy your ebook and support your work because you seem to be an author who appreciates their e-fans. Not all authors do. Some of them release their books through means where they are not available to customers in certain countries or where they are encumbered by technical restrictions ("drm") on which devices or device features a customer can use to read them. This can alienate many ebook customers and cost the author potential profit on that book and in the future.

I am part of a growing community of ebook readers who want to see publishing and reading flourish in this digital age. One of things we are trying to do is reward the authors who 'get it right' to let them know they have won a new fan and to let them know that their embracing of this new and growing reader market is both right, and profitable. So I wanted to reward you! In addition to this letter of thanks, I will be doing the following: (list items from list that you have done)

Thanks again for writing a great book and for 'getting it right' with your e-fans.

Sincerely,

(name)

What do you think?
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Old 02-10-2010, 05:28 PM   #2
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Most of what you're talking about has nothing to do with the author. It's not them that are "doing it wrong", it's the publishers.
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Old 02-10-2010, 08:12 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Shaggy View Post
Most of what you're talking about has nothing to do with the author. It's not them that are "doing it wrong", it's the publishers.
Those aren't really the authors who are doing suitable product, though. The ones that are---and deserve to be rewarded---are people like the Bookview Cafe people who are going indie with their backlist titles for which they have rights. I want to let them know that this is a good thing.

*sigh* If I complain about the publishers, I am criticized for being 'anti-author' and hurting the wrong people. If I try and help the authors, I get slammed for that too. No winning on this board, I guess I am trying to DO something at least...
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:23 AM   #4
David Derrico
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I, for one, love your idea. The publishers don't seem to realize this, but the readers control the market. Without readers, there are no authors, publishers, or retailers.

I believe that readers want e-books and I believe they want them (a) released at the same time as the paper format, (b) at a fair price, definitely less than the paperback, (c) without DRM (which is too intrusive in its current form) so they can convert it for future use on other platforms, and (d) with text-to-speech and lending (if available with the hardware) enabled.

If enough people voted with their wallets, and supported those titles that adhered to those rules, even the big publishers would have to take notice. Or, some newer, leaner company would come in and provide what readers want and put the old guard out of business. Or, perhaps the whole paradigm changes, and we have authors hiring editors and cover artists and then selling directly to readers.

The only issue I see is that, for the most part, the people giving you what you want are indie authors, or maybe "traditional" authors who have regained control of their backlists and are savvy enough to see the future coming. So, for people who want the big new releases from the famous authors with all the advertising, they'll have a hard choice to make. It would take a lot of people buying a lot of books from authors/publishers that "get it" and refusing to buy anything else. It would take a large drop in print book sales to force publishers to stop doing "business as usual."

What you have going for your idea is that indie works are starting to gain acceptance and readership. With distribution through Amazon, CreateSpace, Lulu, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, etc., indie authors can actually be more than a blip on the radar screen. A few can even make enough noise to get big publishers to wake up and maybe wonder why an unknown indie author or some backlist title they gave up on is outselling some of the stuff they're putting out. Some big-name authors will decide they don't need publishers anymore.

I can also tell you that spirited advocacy from a devoted reader goes a long way. Not just from a "Why did I give up a real paying job to do this?" moral support perspective (which is important), but writing reviews, telling your friends, posting on boards like this one, blogging, etc. can make a HUGE difference to indie authors. Your support will have a much greater impact on someone starting small than on a NY bestseller that's already getting lots of publicity.

Sorry for rambling, but I'm very passionate about this -- and not only from an author's point of view. I'm an avid reader too, and I hate to see e-books artificially held back from their potential.
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Old 02-11-2010, 08:18 AM   #5
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Edit.

Last edited by dadioflex; 12-15-2010 at 06:36 PM.
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Old 02-11-2010, 08:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ficbot View Post
*sigh* If I complain about the publishers, I am criticized for being 'anti-author' and hurting the wrong people. If I try and help the authors, I get slammed for that too. No winning on this board, I guess I am trying to DO something at least...
Dont take it too hard I just thing that everyone is frustrated with all this ebook pricing hooplah
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