Wednesday, April 2, 2008
The Internet Community
I'm usually the last to hear about new technology and to take advantage of it.
Because I live in a remote area, I don't have high-speed Internet at home. I could get it through satellite, but right now I don't want another big monthly bill.
In a meeting where we were discussing some grassroots publicity methods for fiction, I learned about ShoutLife network and signed up to check it out. I found several of our authors on it. But now I get an influx of useless email messages from the site that I'm going to have to pull the plug on. I've gone on Facebook, too, to connect with my nieces and found an old college friend. But who really has time for all this cyber networking?
Today I stumbled upon the Paperback Swap. Now here is something I could find useful. Join for free. List at least 10 books you have that you are willing to give away, and you can start selecting books you want to have sent to you. Seems like a pretty good system for someone like me who will often buy a book and later find I have no desire to keep it or to give it to a friend. Now I can get books through here that I'm only curious about without a huge cost investment.
And I see they have a DVD swap. Tempting too. I'll have to check what I could get rid of.
So is a swap like this good or bad for authors and publishers? Someone still has to buy the books to begin with to keep feeding the machine, right? Would we sell more books if swapping among friends and strangers didn't happen, or would the budget tight readers just have to go without? That's always been a question around the office when from readers' letters we guess that the average Heartsong book is probably read by at least 3 different people.
Isn't sharing the blessing of Christian literature a part of the ministry side of publishing? I guess we shouldn't worry then about sales if the bills are being met and the readers are being blessed.
Editor Du Jour Becky