A cup of coffee or a work of art?

Indie AuthorshipI ran across this image a few weeks ago, and won’t lie the impact was remarkable. Maybe it’s my frame of mind, as I am about to endeavor into the unknown abyss of indie authorship,or maybe it is the sinking realization that I, as an author, am awful at supporting my fellow authors, either way I find myself pondering how I spend my money.

Everyday I  piddle away tiny amounts of change, a candy bar at the store or an ugly blazer at Goodwill, that I’m pretty sure I have to have…but what does it really buy me? Bigger hips and less space in my closet.

And yet, when I explore my Nook,  I find a book that I want to buy, but talk myself out of it because I don’t need to waste the money…..

Imagine, instead if I bought a book for my Nook. I buy (hopefully) hours of entertainment and further support the artistic community.

Try itemizing what you spend a week. I bet you’d be surprised how many tiny purchases you actually make, and for what you make them on.

Now imagine just eliminating one or two of those purchases and instead buying that book or E-book you have been eying.

How would the world be different?

43 comments on “A cup of coffee or a work of art?

  1. Books are my mini purchases. I have way too many, but I find I don’t often support the little guy. And as a writer, you’re not just supporting another writer, but also improving yourself for reading their work. Thanks for the article!

  2. This is an awesome post. *applause*
    Totally puts things in perspective for people who may not have good appreciation for the arts!

  3. curious does it make a difference if the book cost $2.99 or 0.99 and would you be inclinded to buy a book from a self published author at a price of $5?

    • Sadly at times it does, I suppose though that is the case with many people on limited funds. As I said, I’ve been trying to rethink it. I’m good at piddling away small amounts of money but at a certain point I usually find myself with sticker shock!

    • Any book under $5 is pretty much candy for me. Unicorn Mating Explained? Sounds interesting enough. A History of Lesser Known Mushrooms and Other Fungi? Bought. The Adventures of Parry Hotter? In the cart. Bargain bins are the WORST.

      Ebooks are actually the one area this doesn’t apply as much, just because I’m not … excited about ebooks. I know it will take me 10 years before I educate myself on those mushrooms, but it seems like I’ll never be interested in reading an ebook, unless it’s part of a specific franchise or something that I’m already invested in. I just haven’t made that transition mentally yet.

  4. Oh, jeez, don’t encourage me to buy more books! My wife will strangle both of us! I was looking through my “how you spend” section on my credit card recently, and it pretty much was “BOOKS. TOO MANY BOOKS.” Good points though. Everyone should buy more books, indie or otherwise, and shop at indie bookstores.

    *Gets distracted reading about a new book he wants*

  5. Its definitely something I’ve thought about since I started writing myself and it galls me it took until then. It’s so sad the amount time I spent uhmming and ahhing over whether to spend £x.99 on a book or ‘wait until it drops’, and would then rush out and spend £x+x on an app or something else unsatisfying. Viva la no-more-piddling-our-money-away revolution!

  6. i don’t drink coffee, but i have a small collection of books that will always be there. i still like buying books and turning the pages i was never fond of e-books, but i see their value. i just bought Poe’s works in their entirety and i have american sniper which i haven’t started and the art of war which i haven’t started. i absolutely love being swamped with pages to read, i love learning and reading. coffee…eh…who needs it?

  7. Reblogged this on and commented:
    Another way to look at the pricing issue for self-publishers — and this isn’t the first place I’ve heard it described this way — support your favorite indie/self-published author for the equivalent of a trip to Starbucks. Is that too much to ask?

  8. I’ve written about this over at theselfpublisher.com and reblogged this piece there now as well. I believe self-published authors are damaging themselves and others by being so willing to sink to .99 and free. Yes, free for a day or two is a great promotional opportunity, but everlasting free and everlasting .99 sinks us all down to a price below what we deserve. For a good self-published e-book the minimum should be $2.99 if not $4.99, particularly as long as traditional publishers and represented authors are still charging $9.99 and up for their e-books.

  9. Rachel, your “like” on my blog was worth a million bucks. If this were a perfect world, you (and me — ha ha) would be millionaires right now. Unfortunately, money is the scorecard by which present-day society judges one’s value. Which is sad, because too much money going around causes inflation. Now, too much “like” or love going around … hmmm what do you think, guys? What would that cause?

  10. I feel completely the same way! I couldn’t tell you how my money dwindles away onto nothing, but it’s sad when you see it in your face. I thought when e-books became this hit new thing that it would promote not only me but everyone else to purchase more, but it would seem that it just has opened the door for people to cheap authors out of the minimal price they charge for their works. Thank you if anything for reminding me I am myself an author, and should support my fellow community!

  11. Pingback: A cup of coffee or a work of art? | break the system

  12. Interesting stuff and massively relevant to me and my latest project. Do you think the issue may be with quality? You can absolutely guarantee the quality of a $3.50 cup of coffee but have to take a punt on the quality of an unknown author of the e-book. Does that put potential readers off making a purchase? The established author (with a proven track record) will always be able to sell their subsequent books easier than a first time author. If this is the case, then how can we tackle the problem?

  13. The world is always better when books are involved! I’m sorry that I haven’t stopped by your page in a while. Today is my catch up day. But I’m glad I did. We writer’s always have to get what we want. Money will come and we all know it will go. Get your book!

  14. Good point. I have thought of this in terms of people mindlessly spending a minimum of $20 a week on coffee yet moaning about spending $8 per week per household to get Australia’s economy carbon free (and economically stronger) in 10 years. But supporting my profession and my peers is definitely a priority too. Even though I’m in the early days of my career, (the hard slog without reward bit!), it’s a good mentality to have right from the beginning, I think. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. OH, and so nice to see you call yourself an essayist!

  15. You buy a 3-cup Bialetti Moka, fill it with Illy coffee, drink all of it before leaving the house in the morning thereby satisfying your need for coffee for ohh, about 12 hours, thereby liberating your change from Starbucks to the e-book… 🙂

    Freat post and very true.

  16. I work from home and spend very little on such stuff – though I’m not sure what my wife buys when she goes out with my daughter! As for me, if I am dragged out the house ‘shopping’ it is usually to a Mall called Bedford Gardens and they have a fantastic store called Exclusive Books and also the coolest second hand bookstore….guess where I hang out? 🙂

  17. Pingback: Bookwhore | 5thshade

  18. I was faced with this actual situation the other day when I thought about getting a coffee and instead raided a charity bookshop sale. Have put a link to this post on my blog. Thank you for this inspiring post! 🙂

  19. Books are my first purchase. I save Amazon points to buy them. 🙂 I drink coffee at home and cook meals at home so I can splurge and purchase a hardcover book.

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