Buy Books for Christmas! (and Chanukah… Kwanza… New Year’s… Tet… Valentines… Just because…)

I recently received an email from author Josh Henkin, whose book Matrimony I will be reviewing and will be giving away in January, about the troubling future of the publishing industry. AND, with the decline of publishing, the loss of the voices of new authors and authors whose ideas may not be of the mainstream flavor. Though I very rarely do this, I want to pass along his email.

Dear Friends,

As many of you know, the book industry is in serious trouble. It was in trouble when economic times were good, and now that times are bad, things have gotten really precarious. Book sales across the industry are down as much as 40 percent, publishing houses are laying off people and cutting imprints, one big publishing house announced that it was no longer reading new manuscripts, and a major chain bookstore is on the brink of bankruptcy. Many of these problems have been a long time coming (the decline of newspapers and especially of book review sections has been a big blow, as has the closing down of many independent bookstores), but in recent months the problem has become especially acute. I don’t mean to sound alarmist, but these are alarming times. What’s at stake is the future of books, and of reading culture. Although books will continue to be published (Stephenie Meyer and J.K. Rowling will publish their next books), for everyone except a handful of bestselling authors, the future is far more uncertain. What’s at stake is the wealth and diversity of book culture. Many classics (books we read in our English classes in high school and college, books our children read or will read), simply wouldn’t be published by today’s standards and, if they were published and didn’t sell well immediately, they would be removed from the bookstore shelves. This is why it’s so important that you buy books for the holidays. There’s a website dedicated to this enterprise, Buy Books for the Holidays,which you might want to check out, and publishing houses are running ad campaigns focused on holiday book-giving. You really can make a difference. A typical paperback novel costs less than fifteen dollars, far cheaper than a necklace or a sweater or dinner at a nice restaurant. Thanks for reading this, and have a happy and healthy holiday.

Best,

Josh
http://www.joshuahenkin.com

Of course, I use BookMooch and PaperBackSwap, both being swap-sites of sorts for books, but I do buy new books as well. Books that never pop up on my wishlist, books I want to read now and don’t want to wait, and books from the bargain bins and twofer sales. Thanks to the swap sites and LibraryThing, I actually purchase more books new than ever before. Go figure.

So, to support the publishing industry and starving authors everywhere, I will be hosting a second Book Bucks Giveaway! 😀
From now until December 31st you can throw your name into the hat for a $25, $15, $10 and $5 gift card to your choice: Borders, Amazon or Barnes & Noble bookstores. The cards can be used either at the brick-and-morters or online shopping.

The rules are as follows:

No biting, scratching, or holding… erm, wait… wrong list… :-))

1. Post a comment to this post for your official entry and specify which store you would like your gift card from. Without your comment here, you won’t qualify for the bonus entries.   If no preference is stated, then you’ll receive one for Borders… I’m lazy and we have a Waldenbooks right here in town.

2. Post a link to this contest on your blog, then post the link here in the comments for a bonus of 5 entries.

3. Comment on any blog entry between now and December 31st for an additional entry per comment. There is a limit of 5 comment-bonus entries per day, so make sure to stop by every day to get your bonus entries! There are over 100 posts on this blog and I’m very busy trying to reach my goal of 75 books by December 31st. I have 17 more to go, which means there will be a post a day, as well, so you won’t run out of chances for your daily bonuses 😉

4. If the winner(s) is outside the US, instead of the gift card, I will mail the new book(s) of his/her/their choice. The postage will be on me and won’t come out of the gifted amount 😉

5. If you go to the Buy Books for the Holidays site, you can pick up the code for a widget button. Include the button in your sidebar for another 5 bonus entries.

Happy Holidays and Happy Reading!

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Tuesday Thingers -LT Authors

Today’s topic: LibraryThing authors. Who are your LibraryThing authors? What books of theirs do you have? Do you ever comment on an author’s LT page? Have you received any comments from an author on your LT account?

This is an interesting question on a topic I rarely think about. LT Authors have a wonderful opportunity to reach readers, though I don’t think they take advantage of it. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a message from the author him/herself, but I have gotten a comment from the publisher on the book Firefly Rain. It’s possible they might use the Author/fan thing more if it could be done in a bulletin-fashion like myspace; if they could write one message then click send all and have it post to all those LT’ers who have fav’d them. As to my commenting on the Author’s page, I think I may have once or twice but I’m not sure.

My LT Authors are:
Dave Boling and I have his book Guernica, which I have yet to read.

Richard Dansky and I read and enjoyed his book Firefly Rain, which has been mooched away.

Joe Hill and I have his book Heart-Shaped Box, which is deep in the bowels of Mt. TBR. Point of trivia on Joe Hill: he’s Stephen King’s son 😉

Penelope Przekop and I have her book Aberrations, which I have yet to read.

Marisa de los Santos and I have her book Love Walked In. This book is located somewhere in Mt. TBR, and I didn’t recognize her name until I saw the book title.

C. Comfort Shields. This is an good example of how Mt. tbARC is kicking my butt. I have her book Surviving Ben’s Suicide, and want to read it, but it just keeps getting buried deeper and deeper. Last week didn’t help my fight against that pile which is entirely excusable, but all the same, I wish I could read faster!

Mort Zachter and I have read and loved his book Dough: a memoir, which has been mooched away. I have left a comment on his LT member page.

As I don’t remember adding a few of these as my authors, it would seem that when an author signs up for LT or when you input a book written by an LT member, they are automatically listed as an LT Author on members who have their books.