Nice commentary on the (sometimes sad) realities of being a writer






Tumblr: I have a million asks about whether or not I’ll be going on tour for the Raven King next spring, and if I’ll be going to x city or y state. 

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: how extensively Scholastic tours me for the series has to do with how profitable a tour/ the series will be. I don’t pay for tours. Scholastic does. Most authors don’t get to tour; the privilege of having your butt sent on the road is hard-won. Tour costs add up fast, even for someone who travels lean as I do — avocados eaten in the front seat of my own car sitting outside of an airbnb shack I’ve rented in lieu of a hotel.  As an author, seeing my readers — whether or not they’ve bought the latest book — is nice: it feels like a way to reward literary devotion. For a publisher? A tour is not a reward. They cannot afford rewards. They can afford business decisions. 

The TRC fandom here has grown hugely in the last year: my sales numbers haven’t. The tags are full of pirate copies. I’m tagged in posts with pirate copies. Guess what publishers look at when they make decisions? Not favs on Tumblr.

I make a buck or so off each copy sold. Scholastic uses the rest to run a company. And send me on tour. There’s a difference between selling enough books for me to pay my mortgage and selling enough books to make it profitable to send me on tour. I should bold that. I am going to bold that. Because I’m not trying to tell you that the future of the series is in your hands, buy! buy! buy! I’m only telling the readers who ask to see my face in Arizona, Boston, California, Minnesota, Maine, Florida, etc etc etc, that if you want this series to be huge enough for me to tour, you’ve gotta pay for your books. Because I run on whatever money comes to me and the joy of readers’ delight. Publishers run on numbers.  

Every week I get Google alerts of new sites that are offering illegal free downloads of my books. How nice of Google to alert me where I can find them.

If you ever hope or dream that you might be a professional author or artist you should care a great deal about this problem.

No money to buy books? Free copies available at your public library.

I tried using a service to take the links down; it was impossible. It was like a future where people decided it was okay to steal forks from restaurants; too many people, too many links, too many unwatched corners. Imagine trying to stop people from stealing forks. Would you have to establish a system to watch people as they ate? No. It’s easier to assume that people generally understand that if lots of people took cutlery from Denny’s, Denny’s would have to raise their prices or otherwise adapt for the loss. The process runs on ethics, not policing. A developed society runs on ethics, not policing. On people choosing to consider consequences and empathy rather than being forced to act in a way that protects others. 

That’s what I ask of readers. To recall, simply, that just because it’s easy to put the fork in your backpack — just because you need a fork at home — doesn’t mean there are no consequences. 

I hate to be the person who adds unnecessary commentary to posts that aren’t mine, but I’m going to anyway. If you have a library card (in the US, at least, not sure about the rest of the world), even if you don’t have ready access to a physical library and/or have a very low threshold for delayed gratification like mine, there’s a service called Overdrive that most library systems subscribe to, that you can instantly borrow ebooks from just about any device with an internet connection. I know for a fact that at least 2 of my 4 libraries (yes I have four different library cards, leave me alone) have all three of the Raven Cycle books as ebooks. You check the book out, read it, and when your rental runs out, the book just goes away, and you don’t have to do anything. No overdue fees, once in a while you might have to contend with placing holds and waiting for a week or two, but it’s good for you, gives you something to live for. 

It’s perfectly legal and all of these public libraries have rights to the books they have, and you don’t have to pay a dime. So yeah, please give Overdrive a shot instead of being mean to authors. This is an important thing. 

except this commentary is good because yes, do that.

As I’ve said before here and other places, support your local libraries. Downloading pirated copies of books may seem like a good idea, becauuse it’s quick and free, but it only hurts the authors whose works you love to read.

Library cards are also quick and free. Go to or log onto your local library. find your favorite author’s work there. My work s there. Obviously, maggie-stiefvater‘s work is there. Most authors’ work is there.

It’s really that easy.