The books are cheap, but the authors are not necessarily always cheerful. And I’m your number one hypocrite.
When I noticed all six of Debi Gliori’s Pure Dead books in The Book People catalogue a few weeks ago, I saw red. But not as red as Debi herself did. Now, in one way it is very nice that readers can buy these lovely, wonderful books for a mere £7. But it’d be so nice too, particularly for Debi, if she was paid for her hard work. I don’t believe writing those books, complete with illustrations for each chapter, was done in one lunch break. Or even two.
I have no idea how much money she has made from the six novels. (I trust I mentioned that they are really good?) It’s not considered polite to discuss income in Britain. (Funny. In Sweden you can look up how much income people declare. Which, of course, could be different from the truth. But let’s not go there.) Having inspected the Gliori abode reasonably thoroughly myself, it doesn’t look like Debi’s incredibly wealthy. She only has a plastic inflatable Tock, for goodness’ sake! And it has to live on a shelf above the door. Not a single moat in sight.
Checked to see if the big online bookshop still sells the PD series. It does. So do a number of private sellers, undercutting the big online company, presumably because they bought theirs from TBP.
This business of letting TBP print their own books, with no payment to the authors, reminds me of the annual Book Sale in Sweden where they regularly print special editions for The Sale. It will soon be upon us again, and I suppose that Swedes will yet again peruse catalogues and tick their choices and then get out of bed early in order not to miss a bargain.
The Book Sale starts on the 23rd of February this year, and luckily I will be there. I hope. Not at the sale as such, but close enough to witness the mayhem. (Almost called it the Mayhew, but that’s somebody else altogether.) It’ll be interesting to see what they are offering up as treasure this time.
Back to TBP. I can’t find it, but I know I had a blog post about them before and authors didn’t all agree. It is true that being able to buy cheap books means that an author gets read and might gain a new fan base. But then there’s the lack of payment, although I feel no guilt about my Harry Potters from TBP. Nor my complete Famous Fives. And was total ignorance an excuse? Before, I mean.
Have to admit that I did provide Daughter with a short wish list for Christmas. One of the two items on it was Hilary McKay’s books about the Casson family. They were sold out, so no luck. I had compromised my high horses all for nothing.