A Bad Situation for Writers

I’m sure you guys know I rarely talk about “the business.” I think about it a lot, but I rarely manage to say the things I have on my mind before someone like John Scalzi, Jim C. Hines, Charles Stross or Laura Anne Gilman beat me to it in much classier fashion. But this time I shall boost the signal anyhow because this is important.

Although this is happening to a lot of people, let me direct you to one specific case that is very well stated: My friend Stephanie Burgess is one of many writers being adversely affected by a dispute between her publisher and a certain large book store chain. This has happened in the past and it will probably happen again in the future. Read her take on the situation at her blog.  Corporate disputes like this hurt the supplier first and in this case, there’s not another market to take the product to due to the way publishing contracts are written (and this is true for some self-published and indie authors also, in some cases.) Authors don’t roll in money (not in real life, unless they happen to be J. K. Rowling) even when they make the NYT list, so having their books left in the warehouse because the “big dogs” want to scrap hurts us all and gives them the chance to hurt us more in future. Please consider supporting your local independent bookstore and authors like Stephanie. (Also, if you have middle-grade to young YA girls who like to read in your circle of friends, the Kat books are truly wonderful. I recommend them heartily.)


About Kat Richardson

Writer, editor, eccentric pain in the tail, bestselling author of the Greywalker novels.
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5 Responses to A Bad Situation for Writers

  1. Barbara Catalano says:

    There are no more small independent bookstores left where I live. And now they are closing the few B/M Barnes & Noble who bought out the borders and closed it toot sweet. It is hell getting books anymore. I have tried to find Laini Taylor for my son as we found 1 Dreamdark book. Barnes and Noble had no idea who she was. Your books I must order off line because “there is no market”. Guess I and several other people do not count. They came in squeezed the independents out and are no crying bankrupt of money issues. No sympathy from us.

  2. Rae says:

    We have the same situation here. There are 2 bookstores in town, both part of national chains. There are no independent bookstores anymore. I have to get Kat’s books through the internet. One of the chains does sell a small selection of Urban Fantasy books, but it is all vampire-based a la Twilight. I despair, I really do.

  3. A lot of indies are now shipping as cheaply as they can. Large independents like Powell’s in Portland Oregon, can often come in with a good price and amortize the shipping cost since they do so many. Also a lot of specialists, like my friends at Seattle Mystery Bookshop, Murder by the Book in Huston, and Uncle Edgar/Uncle Hugo’s in Minneapolis, will ship anywhere and order anything, as well as recommending books in their genre. Most can sell you e-books now, as well. Find a store you feel comfortable with, even if they aren’t close, and kiss snotty bastards who can’t be bothered to help you good bye. Life’s too short for bad service and it’s YOUR money.

  4. Susan says:

    Well I must join the others in saying that we do not have and independent bookstore here anymore as well. I really do not use Barnes and Noble much because they do not carry most of the urban fantasy and paranormal series I read. I must say that I rely on Amazon for most of my book needs. My library does a much better job than Barnes and Noble and in fact carries most of my series, yours included Kat….I wish I had an answer to this problem but with all of the conglomerates we are dealing with in todays world this is just one more issue.. I feel very bad for your friend, especially because she is addressing a youth market that really does need reached.

  5. Tim Schmidt says:

    From the sounds of it, I live in a blessed community. We have more small booksellers than I can count. I’d like to plug my favorite: Escape Fiction in Salem, Or.


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