Why I always buy my friends’ books

Dear Reader, 

My friends D.E.E.P and Lupe Mendez are releasing their books within the next couple of weeks! 

It’s an exciting time in my friend circle. So many of my friends are writers and so watching them go through the publishing process is fun, exciting, and also filled with lessons for when I go through my own process. 

Yes, I will publish one day of this I am sure. 

One of the things that I’ve learned during my experiences and that I make sure that I do is to purchase my friends’ books. Always. I come out the pocket for a copy. I don’t ask for a freebie. I go to their readings. (If I can. Some of my friends are in other states.) I have them sign it. I tell other people about their books. 

I don’t insult them by not showing up and I spread the good karma. 

This is such a basic thing, right? The idea of respect is such a basic thing. How do you show a writer respect for their craft and experiences? You buy their products. 

Support writers is something that we in the literary community don’t talk enough about. We discuss all kind of marketing things that sometimes works and usually doesn’t because so many of us don’t understand marketing (including me). But this is basic. 

Why save your literary visits for the big names? Toni Morrison is always going to sell out. The latest literary darling will always fill their venue and by extension the parking lot (which is frustrating by the way) but your emerging writer is not going to fill Madison Square Garden. They searched high and low for the venue you’re about to enter to hear them read. And, if you’re in a city with not a lot of venues, it was difficult beyond any words I could string together in a blog post.  

Look, readings and launches are as much about the beginning of one journey as it is the ending of another. This is the wedding of the literary world, new art, new words, new thought are being birthed into the world. And that’s what the world needs now. Art redeems us. Art saves us. It’s how we explain the world around us not only to others but to ourselves. 

That work deserves to be paid for. Let’s put some respect on those books, guys. The work it takes to create art deserves to get paid for and considering the average paperback price book (and collection) is between $10 -$16, it’s a freakin steal. So, yeah. No freebies. I’m honored that a writer wants to sign my copy and put my name in it. Heck, I don’t even care if it’s misspelled at this point. 

So I buy the books (pre-order if I can) and go to the readings and tell the world about the work. Eternal respect for the practitioners of the written word and one day, I am sure of it, I will join your ranks. 

See you at the next book launch,

~Icess

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