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hi i havent had time or space to read four a long time but ifound a book crossing book and since then i have read 4 other books i make time 4 it i also have bought neew books let books go from my book case still have a lot to get ridd of but this is a great way of getting rid of your booksif you give a book to a freind you get it back book case is flowing over now it is going down i can buy more books to and put them on the shelf

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I was reading through some of the press articles about this site and came across one article (I wish I could remember which one it was) where an author complained that Bookcrossing was depriving her of income. The reasoning? People were giving her books to strangers for free rather than buying them at a bookshop.

I was stunned. An author will not receive a royalty from the sale of a second-hand book. This site is no more depriving her of cash than second hand bookshops do. It seems to me that writers ought to be grateful that sites such as this encourage people to read. Anyway, I thought her attitude was rather greedy and if I could remember who she was, I would make a point of not buying her books in the future.

Am I the only person who feels like this? Is this site robbing authors of their rightful royalties?
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As a Writer, Reader and Bargain Hunter, I understand multiple facets of the argument made by the Author. As a Writer, you're a struggling Artist, and you'd like to make your money, however, there will always be thrift stores, used book stores, charity, garage sales, Goodwill, Salvation Armies, etc., so the idea that everyone will always pay full price for your work is ridiculous.
The solution seems to be limited release of your work, or demanding a higher commission, upon publication. Is that realistic? I don't know. I'm a Writer, but not an author of novels. If its not realistic, then it seems an issue for The Writer's Guild to take up with Publishers, because this Author should no more beef with Bookcrossing, than she should with...say...Goodwill, for instance.
As a final note, it is important to realize that many people keep Permanent Collections. I, as a true Bibliophile, will always purchase a copy of a book to keep, in case I want to read it again and again. My money is stuffing Anne Rice's, Tom Robbin's, Hunter S. Tompson's, and SARK's, Shel Silverstein's couches. In some instances, I requested the books as gifts. In other instances, the books were so good that I bought them as gifts. After I read, "Little Altars Everywhere", I knew that every girlfriend on my list needed a copy; therefore, every girl on my Christmas list got a copy...full price.
Some thoughts for you to pass on to the Author.
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.. then before. I have seen people talking about books that sound so nice that I went and bought them. I even made the trouble to find a good bookshop while traveling in Paris to find 2 books that I wanted to read that they didn´t sell in shops here in Iceland.

I don´t think that this is right in any way. People might even be reading books that they wouldn´t read otherwise because of bookcrossing.

I hope authors see that this is a good thing!
Melkorka
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To find such an erudite, interesting, stimulating audience of fellow booklovers! As a free-lance, wannabe-published writer, all I can say is that I am thrilled to pieces just to have someone read what I've written! I don't care if they didn't buy it, and I don't care if I make any money off it. I don't write for money: I work for it. I write because I can't NOT write: it's like breathing to me. Would I like to be world-famous and rich? Woo-hoo! Of course I would! Who wouldn't? Am I willing to impoverish anyone else to achieve it? No. Does BX impoverish writers? Get a grip!!!! As a reader, I am ecstatic to find so many who are in the same boat as I (or maybe I should say 'ocean liner') ;-) In a world where a few conglomerates seem to hold sway over the masses, it's refreshing to find so many people who think for themselves...
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As a relatively new and unknown author (Carl Melcher Goes to Vietnam, Thomas Dunne), I know that it will be years, if ever, I sell enough books to make a living at it. It doesn't matter anymore, however, as I've been writing and working a day job for the last 25 years and have managed to publish four books and have two more unpublished in the queue. Not only do I work the "day job" but I am a parent and I have a social life, although it is a little limited. But, when I've had a few, I might fantasize about what it would be like if I had enough money to "just write," and I've come to the conclusion that I will always work at something else, for the grounding, the humbling, the connection to humanity, and the routine it gives my life. Granted, I might have to slow down to a part time job, but I think I have learned to crave the daily dose of interaction and 'real world' work. Let us all give thanks for the leisure we have to read. Best, Paul Clayton
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The author didn't mention libraries. Does she feel that they deprive her of selling her books. If I see a book I really like I will buy it regardless if I have read a second hand copy. I feel she is off base.
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I am a Newbie. I am also the author of one book which I self-published. And I'd like to offer my perspective on this fascinating discussion....

Self-publishing a book is not cheap. For me personally it called for a great financial sacrifice. BUT I made the decision to deplete my savings account and self-publish because I felt it was important to say what I had to say!

The joy of holding that first copy of the finished book for the first time is a joy that only another author could appreciate! I believed then and I continue to believe that it is not so important how many people BUY my book; what is important is how many people READ my book. And that is why I have such an appreciation for BookCrossing. BC is giving me the opportunity to get the word out, to offer free copies of my book; to make it available TO BE READ.

However, it would be less than honest for me to say that I don't care about selling the book, about earning back some of the many dollars I invested in getting it published.

So I guess I see both sides of this discussion. Yes, how great to have purity of intention, to write for the sheer fulfillment of writing. But, well, it's not quite that simple....I have bills to pay.....I would like to rebuild my savings account........I would like to be able to give money to some truly incredible non-profits.......I would like to go to London.......I would like to......etc.etc.etc.





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Here's wishing you both much luck and success!

scavok
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so I'm delighted when people share my work. I've got stuff published on the internet, I do performances etc and don't get paid for any of it. That isn't an issue. However if writing were my sole occupation and I were making a living that way it would be different, unless I were hugely financially successful.
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very succintly and well said, too, BTW. For people whose main source of income *isn't* their writing, this probably isn't an issue, but for those who are trying to live off the income generated from their work, BC and the secondhand market does present a grey double-edged sword. Yes, you do get your word into a person's hands and head, but in so doing, do you lose a sale, or gain many more? It depends entirely upon the grace of your reader.

For those who get to know an author's work through this site and go on to patronise their work, I thank you for your support. You are helping the writing community to keep itself alive. You are sharing in the great dialogue that is literature in a very real and generous way. I understand that not everyone may feel able to do the same ... books are seen these days as a luxury, an often unjustifiable expense. This POV can be exacerbated when they are made freely, or cheaply available through BC, libraries & the resale market. I am not demanding people *not* support these ventures, for they do encourage literacy and can support other local business that need your patronage. I'm only trying to raise people's awareness through my posts about the realities of working in the field and how important those first sale numbers are when you look at them in terms of the livelihood of real, struggling writers and smaller publishers.
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I havent read the whole thread and forgive me if someone has already made this point but making money from writing books is such a lottery these days that you don't expect to even enter the game unless your name is Joan Collins or you happen to be married to a British Prime Minister.

I lost money on the first publication of my book, "An Acceptable Level Of Violence". The reason being that everybody to whom I supplied a free copy circulated it among their friends. Everybody read it, raved about it, passed it on and nobody bought it!

It was both infuriating and flattering!

The second and most recent publication has been slower to take off which is why I'm on here trying to promote it.

I still haven't made any money and I'm not expecting to. I want people to read what I've written. That is my most important validation...

...but a royalty cheque would be nice...

Alex Ashe.
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Reviews

Writers or their publishers generally send out review copies of books to newspapers, magazines, websites for free and cannot even guarentee a review. Given that probably most Bookcrossers write a mini-review of the books they read, this is the equivalent of getting reviews on copies that were originally paid for. So in that sense it benefits writers, however much money they earn from writing. Also many writers make money from personal appearances and related activities, such as tutoring creative writing, writing reviews, being interviewed etc. So book royalties are not the only income for a writer.
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As the ...author/illustrator of "The Thumbtwiddlers of Twiddlewickham," I am glad the book is getting Out There...as a sell or gift, etc.
Get up the good work.
James W Scott
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good heavens! Is this one still going?

It was the first thread I ever posted in at the forums.

WR13
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I finally got around to reading the article. The idea of being against the BookCrossing concept is so silly.

Let's see...where's a handy example. Ok...let's use...me.

I joined BookCrossing a month ago. In the past year, I have purchased somewhere in the neighborhood of...oh...20 books. About 12 of those have been in the past month, since joining BookCrossing. These people may be writers, and therefore more adept in English than math...but the math really isn't that hard.

One example (and seemingly a BC favorite) that comes to mind is Chistopher Moore. I never heard of him before finding BookCrossing, but I've already bought 2 of his books, and planning on buying the rest. I may not have bought him a new car, but I certainly bought him lunch! And just by talking about his stuff to friends, I've probably sold an additional 12 or so books of his. But, no, BookCrossing really hurts authors. They hurt their poor hands trying to fold that extra cash into their wallets.
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"I joined BookCrossing a month ago. In the past year, I have purchased somewhere in the neighborhood of...oh...20 books. About 12 of those have been in the past month, since joining BookCrossing. These people may be writers, and therefore more adept in English than math...but the math really isn't that hard."

I find this extremely interesting. I'm a book-a-holic, and in the past year, I must have bought about 60 books. 50 of them were in the last month, since joining Bookcrossing (and now I really must stop; my budget is suffering, and I broke one of my bookshelves yesterday while adding another book to it!).
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I spend waaaaaaay too much money on books. If an author/publisher/bookseller wants to whine about lost royalties, they will get no sympathy from me. Have they considered all the free press they are getting from us on the forums?

Side note to CasualReader: I have a few of Christopher Moore's books, too. PM me if you want to compare titles for a possible trade. Somehow, I don't think Chris would mind. :-)
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Hi yeah, i found a book that had been released the other day, i was going to enter the BCID and discovered that i'd lost the piece of paper id written it on!! I will record its capture once i can get hold of its number, but for the meantime, Babybump it's your copy of Dale Winson: My Story. Found on a bench in the Fourum Shopping center Chester.
Snuffy xXx
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I would agree, since joining bookcrossing I have really expanded my span of authors whose book I purchase. This site gets me excited about reading and lately I have made my usual once a week stop at the bookstore, a twice or three times a week stop!
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alguem k m ajude sff. sou nova nisto e n sei como colocar em lista para ler os livros. por favor pessoal!!!!!
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Anything that brings people to the joy of reading automatically increases sales.
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well, I just signed up and I'm anxious to start "releasing" my books into the wild...

I can look at it from an author's POV and from a reader's - I'm probably a rare bird in that I really don't care if I make money off of my books - I want them to be read and enjoyed and if someone smiles and their day is made a bit brighter, then that's payment enough. From a reader's POV... well, it's easy to figure that one out - more fun than hanging around a library hoping for something you may or may not like to come in on the shelves!

if you write for the money, you're doing it for the wrong reasons, imo - if you're doing it to make people happy (even if you're writing a horror novel; you know what I mean!) then you won't mind a few copies making da rounds...

;-)

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Working in a school library, I find that bookcrossing is a good way of giving withdrawn books which otherwise have no future but the skip some new lease of life, and that costs nothing. I've also been buying more books - second-hand and brand new - since I started bookcrossing, so somewhere along the line it's generated cash for someone. Maybe if I release a certain author's novel, and someone finds, reads and enjoys it, they'll end up buying more of that author's books themselves - won't they?
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No its not.I pass a Barnes and Noble book store daily on my way to work and the parking lot is full.
Boarders in the local mall the same.
BookCrossing rules.A new way of passing along the printed word that have stirred something in us.
Its a sharing of something beautiful.
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I think quite the opposite. In fact I know personally and I'm sure I can generalise for most of book crossers but I've purchased more books since I've been a member than I normally would have. Seeing wonderful titles and reading someone elses comments on a book I'd never heard of before inspires me to want to read those stories.
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Hi!
I agree with LeighBCD and Inkognitoh!
BC made me curious about a lot of books I never heard before, and I'm sure it's the same for most bookcrossers.

Maybe the writer writes not so nice books and people hears from fellow BCers bad opinions about them, so they don't buy them???

Ciao

Vale
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Yup. I remember a forum where many of us admitted to buying more books as a result of BX. I can't see how we hurt authors any more than a library does. I also agree they may benefit from "buzz".
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I think the main financial beneficiaries of BookCrossing are booksellers (and by extension, publishers and authors), followed by the postal service! Seriously, I can't believe how many books I've either bought or added to my Amazon wishlist as a direct result of hearing about them on BookCrossing. How many free books have I gotten so far? None!
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I agree with everyone here as well. In my experience I too have gotten ALOT of book ideas....I think my wish list is a few pages long...and I plan on buying copies of my own. (Soon as I save some "extra-money" fund :-) I even have a few books that are PC, but I plan to buy a second copy so I can release and share them with others to enjoy! Ever since this site, which I enjoy very much! All my extra-money goes to either books or like clindell said the post office. To me I don't mind doing because it's soo worth it! Thats just my two sense!
Happy reading! ;->
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I've not been on BX for long in the greater scheme of things however I've already bought two copies of a book at the time of purchase with the specific intent to release the second copy.

Seems to me that there are a large number of BXers who do this as well.
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I am, as well, another agreeing person! Since I'm a member of BC I've bought more books than I normally do and I'm even thinking about getting some in 2nd hand to release them.
For me it's obvious that this site does a lot more good than bad to all those that are in the book business. But this is just IMHO...
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tsk, tsk, tsk... I have copyrighted the "happy reading" thing! I'm gonna have to sue you, you know :)
Btw, I also agree - authors get more money thanks to bc, not less, and it's just a blinfolded one the one that can't see the many advantages of this site to promote reading.
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Due to an amazing historical oversight, I have managed to obtain the copyright on the word "copyright" itself. As a result, everyone who copyrights anything now has to pay me a royalty. Pay up, Atenea-Nike :)
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Wow - I just read about this site in the latest issue of Mental Floss (great read as an aside). As an author of two books, I couldn't wait to see if anyone was leaving my books somewhere (still haven't figured out if I can do that). However, I think this is a fantastic idea. With the exception of Best Sellers, my guess is that most of the books people leave are going to end up in the hands of someone who might never have come across it in the first place. What a fantastic way for new ideas and thoughts to transfer. The dollar royalty I lose is small change compared to the idea someone may release to the world because of a book they find.

Both of my books are on creativity, one has a chapter on the incredible power that reading has to inspire new ideas, and a second chapter on the power of synchronicity. Here is a fantastic new idea that brings them both together. Bravo! Whining authors stop thinking small. You are never going to lose much money because of this site, if you think you are, your ego is out of whack. Who knows, I may even start leaving copies of my own book around.

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> Who knows, I may even start leaving copies
> of my own book around.

You should! Register a copy. Offer one to another BCer. You'll be gaining an audience, and have fun following the book's trail!
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> As an author of two books, I couldn't wait
> to see if anyone was leaving my books
> somewhere (still haven't figured out if I
> can do that).

Sure can! In the left sidebar, click on the category "books" That will expand and let you click on the subheading "search books". Plug in the title, author, or isbn, and wait for the site to come back with an answer.

If you want to, you can certainly register copies of your own book, leave them lying around, send them out on bookrings or bookrays, or offer them up for trade, for postage, or as RABCKS. (RABCK = Random Act of BookCrossing Kindness, a book sent or other deed done with no expectation of return, just to be nice.)

TexasWren maintains a list of Bookcrossing authors - if you do a search on her screen name (under "people" in the left sidebar) I'm sure she'd be glad to add you and your book to her list. (And if I've flaked out totally and given you the wrong person, I'm sure she'll know who to refer you to...)

Welcome to BookCrossing!
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Wow! Good for you! I agree totally that this is a great way to spread ideas. And, unfortunately, many individuals cannot afford books, so what a blessing to them!
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Authors get royalities from books borrowed from libraries. It's a complicated system, but my mother, a children's writer, gets a large cheque each year for books she's written that have been borrowed from libraries around the world.

I think BX is a wonderful thing and probably encourages people to read more, but there's the fact.
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> Authors get royalities from books borrowed from libraries.

Not in all countries. i think they do in the UK, but not sure in how many other countries those lending rights work. Here I think not - but authors have to be stupid not to realize that with literally millions of books on print, it's better to get a book read by somebody ( who with luck might BUY or recommend another book by the same author) than not read at all.
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With the Patriot Act our government has access to library records of every book you check out. Whether or not you are reading anything they have deemed 'questionable", it sure puts a damper on library check out. I hope book crossing gets more popular. I can't wait to find my first book!!!
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My library has made it a point to earase your record as soon as books are returned. That is, now, while I have a stack of books from the library, there's a list of what I have.

After I return them there's no way to know what I've been reading.

M - library commissioner, bookworm (if it sits still, I'll read it)
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Libraries have been doing this long before the Patriot Act, btw. It's called patron privacy.
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Just became a member of book crossing and I think it's a really great idea. But I want to let you know that it's not the "law" that libraries have to keep track of everything that a patron checks out. I worked at a public library for four years and can honestly say that the policy that was made when the library first existed 45 years ago, has not changed.

When a patron checks out a book, magazine, video, dvd, books on tape recording, magazine, etc. there is a record as long as the items are checked out. Once any or all items are returned there is no longer a record of what the patron has checked out then or any time in the past because when the items are checked back in the record is no longer needed and is automatically cleared until next time.
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In managing library accounts online, my library lets you select an option for the computer to keep a history of all your check-outs. Enabling this can come in handy if you frequently want to read or refer to "that book" again. Of course, there is the disclaimer that should circumstances warrant, the police can access this list, so some may choose not to enable this feature.
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> Authors get royalities from books borrowed
> from libraries. It's a complicated system,
> but my mother, a children's writer, gets a
> large cheque each year for books she's
> written that have been borrowed from
> libraries around the world.

> I think BX is a wonderful thing and
> probably encourages people to read more,
> but there's the fact.
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i have the right to give away the original copy of a book to whoever i want, even a stranger

an original copy of a book is not a photocopy


no author or publisher can stop me from doing what i want to with an original copy of a book as far as giving it away to someone


can Sony get sue you if you give away your 13 inch Sony t.v to someone?
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> Authors get royalities from books borrowed
> from libraries. It's a complicated system,
> but my mother, a children's writer, gets a
> large cheque each year for books she's
> written that have been borrowed from
> libraries around the world.

> I think BX is a wonderful thing and
> probably encourages people to read more,
> but there's the fact.
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I wonder if I will ever find one???
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I've taken creative writing classes and workshops for years. No, I'm not published, have to send things and get rejected a lot for that. But to the subject, most people who are NEW at writing seem to be afraid of two thing: 1) having others steal their work if they send it someplace and 2) all those free and second hand books! I think that a little experience tells most authors just what y'all (carpet bagger) have figured out. Reading, even free reading, inspires more reading and buying.
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You are absolutely right. I am a retired high school teacher--English--what else? Reading leads to more reading. I worked more than twenty years in public libraries, and the verbal networking that goes on is marvelous!
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Authors do NOT get a royalty from library books at least not in the US. Many other countries do have such a system but the US doesn't. One thing you have to realize, authors only get about 27 cents per book which makes some of them a little owly, especially when some of their older books can sell for much more than cover price in a used bookstore. HOwever, most authors I know, myself included, think BC is a great idea, for the same reason many of you have stated. I find NEW readers. That's why I'm releasing some of my books, hoping you'll find them, love them and come looking for more. :-)
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Last year, we had a booth to promote BookCrossing.com at a local community college's 11th annual book fair. We had numerous boxes of books, and every one of them was released to a happy recipient. Several of those books were donated by author's who were selling their books at other booths, and thought BookCrossing.com was a wonderful idea and another way they could promote their book. They were all very supportive of BookCrossing.com!

This year, we were eagerly invited back! Our booth was next to a writers' guild booth, and not long after we got set up, one of the authors strolled over to meet us. She commended our efforts to foster literacy. She also was interested in the Bookcrossing challenge one of my daughters had launched, READ - Respond in Earnest Action for Darfur (http://www.bookcrossing.com/mybookshelf/goldem1217), for which our books were all labeled with special labels my daughters had designed to bring awareness to the ongoing genocide in Darfur, Sudan. This author, Hanna Davidson Pankowsky, wrote "East of the Storm, Outrunning the Holocaust in Russia," to recount her story of being a ten-year old child escaping Nazi-occupied Poland with her mother in 1939 for the safer Soviet-occupied zone, where they were told her father and brother were drafted to defend Warsaw. She knows it's imperative we take a stand against genocide. We plan to release another copy of Hanna Pankowsky's book into BookCrossing channels, as we know the grave importance of the personal message she has penned in the signed copies she passes along -- the handwritten English/Hebrew plea, . . . "Always Remember." Such a book traveling in BookCrossing channels will help us do just that.
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Last year, we had a booth to promote BookCrossing.com at a local community college's 11th annual book fair. We had numerous boxes of books, and every one of them was released to a happy recipient. Several of those books were donated by author's who were selling their books at other booths, and thought BookCrossing.com was a wonderful idea and another way they could promote their book. They were all very supportive of BookCrossing.com!

This year, we were eagerly invited back! Our booth was next to a writers' guild booth, and not long after we got set up, one of the authors strolled over to meet us. She commended our efforts to foster literacy. She also was interested in the Bookcrossing challenge one of my daughters had launched, READ - Respond in Earnest Action for Darfur (http://www.bookcrossing.com/mybookshelf/goldem1217), for which our books were all labeled with special labels my daughters had designed to bring awareness to the ongoing genocide in Darfur, Sudan. This author, Hanna Davidson Pankowsky, wrote "East of the Storm, Outrunning the Holocaust in Russia," to recount her story of being a ten-year old child escaping Nazi-occupied Poland with her mother in 1939 for the safer Soviet-occupied zone, where they were told her father and brother were drafted to defend Warsaw. She knows it's imperative we take a stand against genocide. We plan to release another copy of Hanna Pankowsky's book into BookCrossing channels, as we know the grave importance of the personal message she has penned in the signed copies she passes along -- the handwritten English/Hebrew plea, . . . "Always Remember." Such a book traveling in BookCrossing channels will help us do just that.
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Hi - this is my first ever post on the forums. *wave*

I'm a newly-self-published author of a fantasy novel (16th January, and a pile of books are arriving from the POD's printer today!). I have loved Book Crossing since a friend introduced me to it last October. It ties in with my personal philosophy and has provided hours of entertainment, fresh perspectives, and friends - tomorrow is my third "in real life" BX meeting here in Sunnyvale.

I've been fascinated by the concept and have actively looked *forward* to being a Book-Crossing author since day one! I don't think BX detracts from sales; I would tend to think it enhances them. As an author, I'd be *happy* to know that people enjoyed my book and were willing to share it with others... the exposure it brings is probably going to be quite important to me, as other authors in this thread have noted.

Admittedly, I have a different perspective from one whose only source of income is royalties; I will be handling my own sales, for the greater part (online book stores come later, etc etc). But I think that anything that encourages people to read, think and get to know one another has to be a great plus.

Linda Moore (whiteraven13)

http://www.rhaeva.com <-- novel


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I am an author as well of historical ahd fantasy romances. I'm published with a traditional royalty paying e-book publisher and I also (as your referred to for yourself) have pod trade paperbacks of my books. I have traded and released a few as a (what is that called) an act of random book crossing kindness.
One fellow book crosser did a book ray on one of my books. I love the feedback I get and that the books are passed on as well as that many people from other countries are reading my books due to book crossing. I have only been trading and sending out my books to those that request it for three months now so I am looking forward to the quarterly royalty check I will get in July to see if backcrossing made any impact in a positive way.
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CONGRATULATIONS, WhiteRaven! I'm pleased and excited for you. Talk to you about this at tomorrow's Meet-Up.

A.L.17
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The article that brought me to bookcrossing.com was in the Dallas Morning News a few weeks ago. That article included some not so positive comments from authors (including one of my favorite writers). Go figure!
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I too, found out about BC through the article in the Morning News. And there was a quote by an author who checked the website and said "Oh! They have 75 (or whatever number) of my books." -- as if the books were stolen or something. IMHO, I think that BC is doing more good than harm by creating new readers for this author and others.
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I think it would be a whole lot more horrifying to an author if we had TWO copies of her book and were passing them around, refusing to buy more. The fact that there are 75 copies (and probably more being added daily) means that we AREN'T taking food from the mouths of her family. If anything, we're giving her some free advertisement and encouraging others to read what she has written. (or not, if it was awful)
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I've gone to the Dallas Morning News web site, and nothing about bookcrossing is coming up on their archives. Was it the newspaper or a morning new tv show?(Or as usual am I doing my searches in some fuddy/fuzzy sort of way???)
THanks!
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Okay...oddd...yes, throw in that extra d...nothing shows up on their search/archives, but we do have a link to the article on the press page. Two folks, an author, and the owner of a small publishing company think bookcrossing is a bad idea.
I should have know to look at the press releases for bookcrossing.com to find it!
Thanks!
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make that "known" in that last post. Oh well, I put that extra d in "odd" and it threw me off!
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Please post the link to the story you are discussing. Thanks!
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Sorry Annulla here is the Link 2 The Dallas Morning News Story under discussion: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/dallasnews-2002-09-19.html

Hope that works, if not cut & paste into your browser.
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Thanks. I never heard of "Susan Wittig Albert, the Austin-based author of the popular China Bayles mystery series," who moans and groans about how difficult her life is because people aren't buying her books, she doesn't have a cushy job at a university and she doesn't have a "patron."

I found her remarks pretty funny. Apparently, she actually believes that IF ONLY we weren't participating in bookcrossing, we'd all be out buying HER books. Perhaps "the author" needs a reality check. I suggest she get out, get a job and get over herself.
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I had never heard of this author either so this morning did a search and found her website. I think I might enjoy her work as I have an herb garden myself and her books seem to have a herb/mystery theme. I left a message on her guest book telling her I had heard about her at Book Crossing and gave her some positives about the site regarding authors. This is a copy of her reply.
Jill, I am always happy to hear that people are talking about my books, and I don't think that several dozen free copies scattered across the U.S. is going to cause a problem for me--I've been in the business for a decade, and my series are pretty well established.

My concern is, rather, for authors just starting out, and I hope the writer of the newspaper article (which I didn't see) made that clear. I believe that readers should realize (many don't) that the author does NOT receive a royalty for books bought used or picked up free, and that all this after-market traffic can negatively influence sales to the point where the publisher decides to drop the author. Publishers go by the numbers, like it or not, and I know too many good writers whose contracts were not renewed.

There are lots of problems in the book business--Bookcrossing is only the tip of the iceberg. There is now an active used book market on-line that is beginning to seriously affect many authors' sales. I know of no author who does not have a very strong opinion about after-market book sales, on the scale it is now reaching on the Internet, although most authors find it politically incorrect to say so. I'm glad that my book sales have put me in a position to say what I think, and I know that I speak for many up-and-coming writers who are afraid to share their views.

You may share my comments with others, if you like. Thank you for writing to me--and I even dare to hope that when you get around to reading my work, you will like it well enough to support it.

Regards,
Susan Albert

Perhaps she does have a point but as usual I am amazed when people just don't 'get' bookcrossing. But not everyone is coming from the same place obviously! I am going to buy one of her books.
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I think her "after-market book sales" point is weak; I don't buy it (nor her book). I might, though, consider reading a library or a released copy. Kudos to you, though, minerswife, for sharing this story with us.
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Hi,

She doesn't appear to be anti-bookcrossing from this message. She does have a point though where sites like eBay where people sell used books to people that are believing they are buying new books inexpensively. Auctioner buys 1000 books from a bookstore (i.e. amazon) at a bulk rate where the royalty may or may not be honored (if Amazon sells to a bookstore, the bookstore is responsible for the royalty if I'm reading the rules correctly). Auctioner sells on eBay for just above the bulk rate. I do know this happens but as to what extent I don't know.

Ms. Albert seems to want people to buy new books instead of buying used books if they can afford it. Nothing wrong with that.

As for her argument that new authors may be pushed out of the business for poor sales.. it is possible but not likely from bookcrossing, used bookstores or public libraries. the cause will more likely be from those auctioners that sell books in bad faith.

Sorry... I just came back from the gym and the endorphins are still kicking in my bloodstream so my thinking is somewhat erratic regarding wording.

One thing of note is that the publishing business (books, comic books, magazines, etc) have ALL taken hits on their sales due to people not reading as much as they used to. Many blame this on the popularity of the internet, dvds, etc. Others blame the economy - if you don't have a job, you aren't going to be buying a whole lot of these luxury items.

Personally, I think it is partially all these things as well as the average quality of a book has gone down. There are what, 50,000 new books published each year? How many are actually not copy-cat books? 10,000? How many are original? 2,000?

jason
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Jason - I don't understand what you are saying about Auctioneer. But you should know that the publisher, not the bookseller, is responsible for paying royalties to the authors. That's why, the more copies of a book sold, the more royalties to the author. That's why this particular woman wants people to buy new books - it has nothing to do with whether or not the reader can afford it, it has to do with whether or not she gets a chunk of change every time the book changes hands.

Her argument is absurd. Whether she likes it or not, there is an after-market for almost everything, books included. If I buy a used car, Mazda is not going to get any money. So - should we eliminate the used car business? If I buy an old house, the architect and builder aren't going to get any money. So, we should burn down old houses and only live in new ones? And no, Levi's doesn't get any money if I buy an old pair of jeans. So what? And we're giving the stuff away instead of selling it - I guess that, in her eyes, that makes us WORSE than used car dealers. ::sigh::
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Thank you, Minerswifebb, for sharing your reply from author Susan Albert. I think Ms. Albert makes a very good point with her statement, "I even dare to hope that when you get around to reading my work, you will like it well enough to support it."

I, personally, pay more money to support my local nurseries rather than buying plants at Home Depot, because I want them to stay in business due to the better service I receive.

I will go out of my way to support any local merchant vs. Walmart, even if it costs me more.

The original concept of BC, that is, releasing books "in the wild" does not (in my opinion) affect book sales. In fact, if a book is free, someone is more likely to read an unknown author and then purchase more books by that author.

However, as this site becomes more and more a method of searching for particular books and trading between members, it can and will affect the revenue received by authors.
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I'm a Publishing Studies graduate and new to Bookcrossing. I feel that if established authors feel so strongly about the lack of opportunities for new authors they should look into changing publishing itself. The diversity of published books may suffer with the continuing trend of an increasingly smaller number of multinational companies owning a larger share of publishing. This may lead to a bestseller culture where the industry may only go for the safe bet, opting for established authors or formulas and not taking the risk of publishing unknown writers.

More money to the marketing department does not necessarily equate to higher quality or a greater diversity of work. It concerns me that Susan Albert seems troubled about the effects of after market sales/distribution on new authors when perhaps ever decreasing publishing ownership could leave the entire industry in the hands of a few well-off conglomerates. What benefits could there be for the unknown author if all players are catering to the tried and tested middle ground? Thankfully this is not quite the case yet and there are still many good new authors.

I've been registered on BC for 4 weeks in which time I've released three books and have bought 5 new books that other bookcrossers had given favourable reviews. Three of these books were written by authors I had previously never heard of. In these four weeks I've caught no books and it wouldn't matter if I never catch any as I would still benefit from BC.

When a book is published that I think I would like to read then I will buy it. I could be waiting a long time to read the title if I waited for a bookcrosser to release it and the suspense would just be too much!

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I agree with you (I think!). I've tried a lot more different types of books since being here. I've discovered new authors, and when I go to a bookshop, if I see a book I've heard talk about I'm much more likely to buy it than if I'd never come across it before.
There's a couple of authors here who are organising a bookray for their own book, and this way they're getting their book out and about, many more readers will be exposed to it, and so much book promotion seems to be by word of mouth that it can only be good overall.
I'd hate it if we ended up with only bestsellers and tried and tested formulae. Besides, those writers have got to stop writing eventually, and then what? if there's no outlet for the new writers, how will they ever become bestsellers?
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As for authors just starting out, how many authors are there on here promoting their first book? I know I've seen a few.
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Thanks for posting Susan Wittig Albert's reply to your communication about Bookcrossing. After reading the article, I was disappointed by what she said. I should have remembered that what is written in the newspaper is not necessarily what the person quoted meant.
What I am thinking is that the opposite should apply - maybe a new author can offer a copy of their book on Bookcrossing. That would give the author who is just starting out much needed exposure; and many of us who liked the book may decide to buy it...
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Here's that original article from the Dallas Morning News:

https://web.archive.org/---/http

Since it's from 2002, it's a nice look at BookCrossing's early years. :)

Anybody know if the Dallas-area BC'ers mentioned in the article are still active here? (Since it doesn't list their BC names.)
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since a lot of people read each copy there. Why isn't this author offended by this? (Ironical comment...)
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post about an author who had 75 copies of her book at BX and didn't like it
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If a book is read by someone, and they like it, they may buy other books by the same author to read. It's free advertising!
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I was wondering what the terms 'traveling' and 'available' actually mean when you register a book.
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What an interesting comment you have brought up. I am a freelance writer and royalties do not apply to me in the same way they apply to an author but it is something I haven't really given much thought to.

I think that Book Crossing can work well for established writers. I have read books recieved through BC and enjoyed an author so much that I have searched out their other books.

Consider BC the world-wide library. Really, its no different. From hand to hand. From borrower to borrower.

Ah, then there is the arguement that follows along the lines of the copyright infringement with regards to cds, cdrs, etc. My brother and I had a conversation similiar to this topic on the weekend. It made me smile when I read your post. Oh, here we go! :-) Money wise, I am gently reminded that with every CDR I purchase, I pay an extra fee which is then spread along the recording artists. Cheers.
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It's the same as the argument about file sharing damaging music sales. I've been swapping MP3s for over three years now, and in that time I've also bought more albums and CD singles than in the whole of the previous ten years. Some people, such as Spinach Records ( http://www.spinach-records.co.uk/---/index.html ) have cottoned on to the idea of giving stuff away on a shareware basis and using the money generated to press up albums that would otherwise not be released.

I've self published one book through a print on demand company, but their publicity machine is quite poor, so I'm trying all sorts of viral marketing, such as releasing sample chapters to Kazaa. I'm also (Plug Alert!) posting my current work in progress on my website ( http://www.spinneyhead.co.uk ) as a first draft serial to generate interest in my work. If anyone on the list would like to review the book and get it into the BC chain, please drop me a line.
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Hi LeighBCD,

I think there are two possibilities:

1) the author really did not understand that BookCrossing acts more like a library than anything else. No authors or publishers are paid royalties when you check out a book from the local library.

2) the author was misquoted or was quoted out of context. That *never* happens in the media ;-)

jason
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Or else, the author is just kind of a dope. Sad to say, "author" is not synonymous with "intelligent."
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Jason, you are right - it is entirely possible that this author was misquoted. I really hope that is the case.

Leigh
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What a grand idea bookcrossing is I hope my first changeling will find a new owner.
Rainbowunweaver
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I don't believe that this site is robbing authors of their rightful royalities.

How many books have I found for free "in the wild" as a result of this site??? 2.

How many books have I bought that were posted in the wild (were left at second hand bookstores)? 3

What percentage of the books that I buy do I actually buy at a retailers like (Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Walmart, etc)? Being very generous here 15% of the books on my bookshelf.

Where do the other 83% of the rest of my book I own come from? Second Hand bookstores, paperback exchanges, and annual library booksales.

What percentage of the rest of my books come from FREE exchanges as a result of bookcrossing.com? Again I am being generous here... maybe 2% of the books on my list.

What traditionally have I done with the books that I own before I discovered bookcrossing.com? I gave them for free to: paperback exchanges (supporting local businesses), gave them to the local library for their booksale, to the church for their annual rummage sale, or Goodwill.

Since bookcrossing.com, I have released some books to the wild realizing there is a good chance they just might end up in the trash at some remote location.

What have I learned and received from Bookcrossing.com (since joining)? That there are a lot really wonderful people out there who enjoy books as much as I do! I am reading authors I might never have been interested in before. I am trying these new authors and spreading the word to coworkers and friends.

The books I have exchanged for are ones that I never would of bought for full price anyway ( I merely would have gone without reading them).

So, to those who think I (as a bookcrosser) am ripping off the authors I say.... I am promoting good books, different authors (Dana Stabnow, Rita Mae Brown, Ellen Hart, Bentley Little, etc.) that other people might have read. Most of all I am creating some goodwill with other booklovers who are looking for that next great read!
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Bug007, very eloquent! I'm not sure on my stats, but I still spend a lot of money on new books. I've done a lot of books trades, so I have received well over 25 books from other members. In many cases, this was an opportunity to sample an author's work that I wouldn't have tried otherwise. When we do book trades, it's not that different from borrowing from the library except that the book continues on its journey and we get to hear about it! And someone actually bought that book at some point.
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I buy pretty much all my books new. I usually try and get them on sale though. I use to belong to Double Day Book Club, but I gave that up(that was before I found this site) because of low funds.
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Like many others here, I spend quite a lot of time browsing through members bookshelves and I have bought many books based on recommendations that I saw here. For example, I bought "The Greenlanders" by Jane Smiley after seeing it on this site - I would never have heard of this book otherwise but hey, I loved it!

Anyway, this has been a really interesting discussion. All the best!
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The Dallas News ran the article you are talking about. It's in the Buzz, dated 9/19. There are 3 authors quoted as not being happy about BookCrossing.
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Who were the three authors?
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After the birth of my first child, I had actually stopped reading--I just didn't feel like I had the time. When a friend told me about bookcrossing, I was instantly hooked, and ever since my book purchases have skyrocketed and I've made a conscious effort to find the time to read. I bought a number of books (e.g., "The Lovely Bones," "Fall on Your Knees") based on the recommendation of other BookCrossers.
Plus, the vast majority of the books I've released were purchased a long time ago, many at used book stores, and had been sitting on my shelves or in boxes forever. It's difficult to imagine how any author could feel cheated because I dusted off a book and passed it on to someone new, particularly if, in the process, thousands of people get a chance to hear about the book!

I think BookCrossing is actually an excellent development for readers and authors--it gets the world excited about books.

Thanks for the chance to vent!
genevalove
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I, in fact, have bought more books since joining bookcrossing than i ever have in my life. new, second-hand, whatever. i know several friends who have done the same.
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I have been referring books to others and sharing my books with others for years. Periodically I go through my collection of books and donate to charity. Books are meant to be read by everyone, not just those who can afford to!

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I can see the writer's point, but I think she must be a newly published writer who can't see the long term advantages of this site. I haven't read any of the replies below, so I may be repeating some of what has been said, but I shall put in my 2 sense worth anyway. There are people who may "catch" one of that author's books and it may cause them to be curious about other books by that author, which the individual my choose to purchase and then release. The book catcher may also enjoy the book so much they buy additional copies for friends as gifts, or suggest that their friends, relatives, collegues etc. read it. It may be caught by someone in the media that their publicist has missed - a talk radio dj or a newspaper book reviewer in a small town that may not have received a FREE copy from the publisher. Many people like to keep copies of a book they truly love and can enjoy again. This could lead to someone purchasing their own copy and releasing the original (I hope people continue to release the books they have caught and love to keep the Karma flowing). These are just a few of the ways bookcrossing can be an advantage! And if people are looking for a particular book but cannot find it, they can at least look up the book and find out what real people, other than book reviewers, think of it, helping them decide to BUY a copy and later pass on. I know if I was talented enough to have a book published I would release several copies into the wild.
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You are absolutely right and if you can find the name of that particular author, please pass it on, maybe if we all refrain from buying her books it will be a wake-up call. The purpose of this site is encourage people to read.

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