Don’t Buy My Book … Request It at the Library

The don’t buy my book tour 2014

MarriageAtRueMorgueFront (1)Less than thirty days remain between now and The Marriage at the Rue Morgue’s hardback release. July 16th is coming. But I’ve got a problem, and I need your help. The book is expensive. So can you do me a solid? Go out there and don’t buy it. Don’t-do it as loudly as you can.

Let me explain.

The last time I shelled out for a hardback, it was written by Stephen King. The time before that … well, I don’t remember the time before that, because frankly, I balk at the expense. My husband does, too. Remember, we’re the people with twelve overstuffed bookshelves. We constantly overspend our book budget. But the less we know of an author’s work, the less we’re likely to spend on it.

The Marriage at the Rue Morgue costs twenty five dollars, more or less. I wrestled with myself for weeks over how to justify asking people to spend that much, when I know I wouldn’t do so myself.

I can’t do it. I’m too fucking honest.

Don’t get on my case about false modesty or the importance of self-promotion these days. I’m promoting this thing. I’m promoting the hell out of it. But I cannot ask individuals to pay so much.

If you know me and like my writing, then by all means, go shopping. Rue Morgue is a good read, and it’s something you’ll come back to. Hell, Publisher’s Weekly liked it. But if you’re a stranger to me and to my work, then I’m offering you access to the entire text free of charge before you decide to buy.

No, I’m not posting it here on my website. I’m foolhardy, not stupid.

Instead, I’m suggesting you request it at your local library. What I cannot justify asking of an individual I’m completely comfortable asking of an institution. While twenty five dollars is a large amount of an increasingly limited book budget, I know it will be money well spent. This is my publisher’s target group, so selling well to the library market matters.

Libraries have patron request forms for titles not currently available. Because so few people take advantage of these programs, librarians make every effort to get the things people do ask for. I’ve worked in libraries. I have an MLS. I know whereof I speak. Sometimes, interlibrary loan will do the trick, but when the line starts backing up, the system starts ordering.

My publisher will ultimately release paperback and electronic versions of the title, and those will cost less. You could wait. Or you could request the book at the circulation or reference desk of your branch library and go the route of near-instant gratification.

Once you read it, if you find you’ll be coming back to it, by all means spend the money on the hardback. It’s a worthwhile purchase. If you really like it, tell your librarians the author offers creative writing seminars and library mystery parties. Direct them to the Jester Queen and Rue Morgue websites.

Help me build my fan base. Encourage your mystery-loving friends to check out a copy so the library will know its money wasn’t wasted. That kind of support would be worth a hell of a lot more than a single twenty-five dollar purchase.

About jesterqueen:
Jessie Powell is the Jester Queen. She likes to tell you about her dog, her kids, her fiction, and her blog, but not necessarily in that order.


Don’t Buy My Book … Request It at the Library — 11 Comments

  1. This is a wonderful idea! I’ll go by our co-op branch and put in the request. There are five or six libraries in the co-op, and maybe they’ll get more than one copy.
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  2. Way to go Jessie. I do know your writing, and enjoy reading anything you put out there, but I think this is a smart thing to do overall. Do you have any copies you will sign and send? I am just curious. When I like the writing, like the author, know them (in some manner shape or form) it is nice to have a copy that has some scrawl on it. Either way, I will be reading, and watching this one grow.
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    • I’m going to order book plates – it will save everyone the postage. I’ll sign the plate, send it out, and then folks can stick it in the book of their choice. I can only assume this means my book, though I once had a glorious time defacing our discards by autographing all of them with my name, no matter who the author was.

  3. I’m spending all morning on Saturday in a booth at the Farmers Market selling my book to benefit Friends of the Library. I’ll be sure to find out exactly who to ask to make sure our library DOES order your book. In this game, it takes a hell of a lot more sometimes than filling out a form and submitting it, and I’m saying that for your benefit as well as for everyone else’s. Of course, the rest of it goes without saying. I’ll recommend it to everyone I know. It’s a great book. It’s worth twenty-five dollars.
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    • Thank you thank you!! It’s the rural libraries where it’s easiest to get it done for sure. In the cities, it takes quite a few requests to trigger an order.