This happened a few weeks back. One of said chats involved ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies), and I harmlessly wrote the following:
This brought about The Ire. People started yelling about how I always buy the books I get free! and If I like the book, I'm it's biggest fan!!! I tell EVERYBODY about it!!!
Okay. Fine. But you still need to buy books. As many as you can afford. Especially if you're a writer. Quadruple that shit if you want to be published.
I know, I know. You're the biggest fan. They might as well put you on the publicity team.
Still. Buy the book.
Listen, if you can honestly tell me that you go out and buy the book every time--great. Good for you. But if a restaurant told me, "Hey, don't worry about paying for this meal. It's on us! Come back anytime! Always free!" Well, first I'd be worried by how happy they are (did you see all those exclamation points?) Second, I wouldn't be going out to eat very many other places. Why would I? If I could get the best food - for free - before most people got sat at a table? Damn right I'd be at that place. Every night of the week.
And that's what I see online. A veritable feeding frenzy of YA types, looking to score the next big ARC. To be able to get on Twitter and say something like:
"SQUEE! I just read DIVERGENT!!! Most amazing book EVA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
(And as a note, I was read the first few pages and given the plot breakdown of DIVERGENT by the editor, Molly O'Neill, and it does sound amazing... but I will never 'squee.')
I admit, there have been plenty of ARCs I'd love to get my hands on. One being my friend Nova's (especially after reading her first chapter...) The other being MY FRIEND Suzanne Young's (whose first few chapters I also read... very good.) But I want to support them as authors. And that means buying the books. Because at the end of the day, that's what really matters to me: supporting the authors. Going to the store. Picking the book off the shelf. Paying for it. And then reading it.
Can you really argue with this?
Okay, I probably sound like a dick. I get it. I'm also willing to live with it, no matter what. Bring on the flames. The endless retweeting. Because, if I want to be published, I need to invest as heavily into publishing as I can. In a monetary way. Luckily, I can afford to do so. If you can't--go to the library. Library sales are huge. And if you don't have a library? Well, comment here. I'll send you some books.