Monday, March 9, 2009

Musing Mondays...Hey, you say cheap as if that were a bad thing!

Once again, let's take a moment to reflect on a question from Just One More Page.

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about new authors…

What is your policy when it comes to new authors? Do you feel comfortable purchasing a book or do you prefer to borrow new authors from the library? How often do you 'try out' a new author?

New to me...or new altogether?
Well, let's discuss both.
New altogether...I must say that I have had some good luck with new authors recently. Two come to mind...the recently read School of Essential Ingredients and one I read some months ago, Guernica. Both first time novelists, and while very, very different books, in their own way, each very good books. So, yes, they were new to me and new to everyone! Would I have purchased them? Well, most likely not, for a couple of reasons that I will get to.

As to new to me authors...I would have to consider that on two sides of the great divide, pre-Advance Review Copies and post-Advanced Review Copies. Back in the days that I was not fortunate enough to get publishers to send me a fairly good number of ARC's, mainly because I never knew to ask, back when I had to buy all my books or get then from the library, I tended to play it safer in terms of my choices. Think tried and true. I would happen upon an author, maybe on a loaned book or a strong recommendation, and read through all their books. Usually starting at the beginning of a series and reading to the last written. Or at least until I got really sick of them ...or, especially among the mystery writers I favor, they reached the dreaded point of the Series That Should Have Ended But Didn't.
Ok, a little side rant. There was recently a post on this subject over on Muderati by Tess Gerritsen about this. In my opinion, an author should end a series as soon as the idea occurs to them. Oh, it all started out great. A great premise, great characters. The first few books, fresh and with all sorts of exciting twists and turned. But, especially if the series is popular and successful, some authors churn out another...and another...and another., sometimes long past the point maybe those characters should have been put to rest for awhile. Or maybe killed off in a spectacular conflagration!!

Back to the, through the miracle or ARC's, I have been exposed to all sorts of authors I had never heard of before. New authors and new to me authors. Some whose other books I will read...and some whose other booka I will not. But see, I didn't have to buy those ARCs, so love or hate them, I risked nothing but my time. Which is pretty worthless.

But besides all the new authors I have been exposed to through ARC's, I have also happened upon a lot of new authors, especially new to me, through reading the reviews of a lot of other bloggers. So many wonderful suggestions....Now, if it is a new book and it sounds interesting and I really want to read it, my first plan would check to see if my library has it. If, on the other hand, it is a book that was published some time ago, my first impulse is to see if I can get a used copy through one of the vendors on Amazon. As little as a penny for the book + 3.99 shipping.....for $4.00 and with a book recommendation I will take a chance on someone I have not read before. So newly published I tend to check the library, not newly published, I try to buy a used copy to check the author out. Then I can see if they are worth a further investment.

Because I will admit it....I am cheap. Thrifty, a tightwad, a penny pincher, parsimonious. Cheap.
To go to a bookstore and pay full price for a causes me physical pain. And then if I were to hate the book on top of it.....{{gag}}}...I would be very unhappy.
Not that reading a book from an established author that I have read and liked before is any guarantee. Especially if they have reached the afore mentioned point of the STSHE.
Few are the authors who books I love so much that I will go out and buy the hardcover as soon as it comes out because I can not wait! Can't wait for a paperback, can't even wait for a library copy. I need it NOW!
Of course even then I will check and see if Sam's Club has it at a considerable discount before going to the bookstore. Hmmmm...full

...Hey, what can I say. I am cheap.


  1. Cheap is not a bad thing! Nowadays, I don't know too many people that throw money around easily. I put my library to great use, the only downside being those long hold lists for the new, well-known releases. I save my Borders coupons and use those for emergency purchases!

  2. Cautiously frugal Caite, a good trait to have especially in these days. The one thing I miss about the library "up north" is the rental of newly released books. For a small price you could keep the book up to 7 days. I would usually read it in 2 so it cost me next to nothing. In the podunk part of Fl we moved too, the library system is not quite as advanced. heck, they don't even have magazines here! I do miss my old library but I don't miss snow so I guess there is always a trade off.
    Nice post as always, Caite. See, writing like yours is why I gave you the blog award.

  3. I just enjoyed reading this post so much ... well, I enjoy your blog so much so that is not a surprise. And you totally captured it -- The Series that Should End But Didn't. Too many authors keep on going to get that last dollar wrung out of their characters and end up diluting what was good in the first place!

  4. This was a great post. I rarely spend over $6.00 for a book nowadays. I wait until they are a year or so old, and buyer them cheap on Amazon as you mentioned. I do use the library on a regular basis for the latest released. ARCs are always a bonus.

  5. If I didn't have a lot of books...mostly those cheap Amazon purchases...hanging around, waiting to be read, I would use the library a lot more.

    I don't quite get author's reluctance to end a series. Sadly, I think it is often about trying to ring the last penny out of characters that should be long retired...or dead as i suggested.

  6. I am cheap too, or perhaps I am not cheap but simply do not have enough money to be a wild spender - either way I am also cautious when purchasing books. I make use of the library a lot and occasionally this amazing used bookstore nearby (although I feel guilty about that since I've realized that author's don't get royalties from those books), and occasionally when Borders or Barnes and Noble is kind enough to send me a coupon I will treat myself and take a chance on something new.

  7. yes, the whole issue of used books....I love them but I am sure authors might not share my love.

  8. Discovering new authors is one of the best part of blogging.

  9. I totally agree!

  10. I'm sending an award your way...

  11. there is absolutely no harm in trying to find new books for little to no cost to you as long as you are open to the idea of new authors, in my humble opinion

  12. I love our local library. Seattle has a wonderful library system and I find I bring so many books home I don't have time to read my own books!

  13. Sign me up as cheap, too. I don't know when I paid full price for a book for myself.

  14. Really, I usually only do if it is something I don't think I can find Amazon.
    Or if I am must have it right then!


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