Libraries Are Awesome And More People Should Be Saying That

17 Mar

Every morning I have that little hope that those silly numbers would have changed and I’ll be able to start a post with “It’s a miracle! I made a sale!”. Not today, though. Ho-hum. Maybe tomorrow.

Recent broo-ha-ha about traditional publishers and their appalling attitudes towards libraries makes me think that there could be some sort of gap here, for indie authors to fill by clumping up and making their books available to libraries. General wisdom (ie this is what I came up with and a lot of other people came up with it at the same time so it has to be SOME kind of common sense) (also; General Wisdom SIR!) trends towards these three simple rules:

1) Unlimited lends (ie no limits like the ridiculous 26 and you’re out Harper-Collins crap)
2) The library keeps the book for an unlimited length of time OR something like a yearly renewal system OR the author/publisher sets the amount of time before ‘renewal’. Personally I’d go for the ‘unlimited time’ option.
3) Books can be lent to one person at a time OR licenses could be bought/granted for a number of concurrent lendees (eg three licenses means three people can have the book out at once) OR there’s no limit on the number of people who can concurrently borrow the book. I kind of like the idea of the ‘license’ system, personally.
4) Each patron can only ‘borrow’ one book at a time (ie you have to return the book you have before you can borrow another one).

I investigated donating my books a few weeks ago, but it’s not a simple process. Most libraries apparently use the Overdrive system, which isn’t the friendliest thing in the world to indie authors. Not that I don’t understand their caution, some kind of quality control has to be in place, but then again just because a book is traditionally published doesn’t mean it’s good, indie authors didn’t INVENT bad writing, did we? No, we certainly did not. Remember Sturgeon’s Revelation, “90% of everything is crud”.

Also I learnt all of this horrible stuff while researching this subject about how a lot of libraries don’t actually shelve books that get donated, they just sell them. Seriously, go look it up, I was shocked and appalled and then shocked again and then appalled some more.

Still. An indie library system would be kind of amazing.

BJK Factoid #169: On the rare occasions that I find myself drawing something, I cannot help but make the ‘sound’ of that thing while drawing it. Swords go ‘shing! shing! shing! Whap-swish-aaaaargh’, flying cars go ‘buuuuuuun-BUUUUUUUUN-buuuuuuun’ etc.

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Posted by on March 17, 2011 in Of Writing


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