Monday, June 06, 2005

Let The Bootlegs Begin...


Posted by Hello
Darn bootleggers.

Only two days out of Book Expo America, and what do I find??? Some "fan" has put one of the signed copies of my book on sale on half.com... a good month before the due date. Isn't that special?

I learned really quickly to be weary of folks, "collecters," who don't want books personally signed to them. My preference is to sign it to the person receiving it and leave a personal greeting. However, with several hundreds of folks waiting in line(s) over the weekend, I didn't have time to discuss my issues with folks not wanting a personalized copy. Everyone's out for a quick buck. Everyone's out for freebies. Hmmm...

So, if you want a bootleg copy of my book, you know where to go, but maybe you can ask the culprit why they are selling something they got for free at Book Expo America. I'm assuming it's a BEA freebie. I could be wrong. Either way, they got it for free from somewhere... because the book isn't for sale anywhere yet. My preference... and most authors prefer... that you purchase your book in a bookstore. That makes our work and careers go further, so that we can continue to provide entertaining reads for you. My writing colleague and friend, Tayari Jones, wrote about a similar experience with her new novel.

To my lovely bootlegger: If you didn't want it, why did you take it just because it's free at BEA? Are you planning to do a review or tell people about it? Would you like to create some great karma for yourself by just GIVING it to someone, rather than SELLING it? (After all, you received it for free, and I'm sure there's someone out there who'd love a nice, new, autographed novel about black and Latino boys in L.A.). How many other freebies from BEA are you planning to sell? Or was my book just not your cup of tea? It's okay, but there were people at BEA who really wanted it and couldn't get it because we gave them all away. Just a few questions to reflect on.

Have a nice day!
fs

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's not cool!!

Well, here's hoping readers will buy two copies. One for themselves and the other as a gift for a friend.

That's what I plan to do.

Kevin C
ATL

Trent Jackson said...

Well I hope my book isn't being bootlegged...LOL But that should be a tale tell sign of being on your way...right?

Everyone does want a handout! F them! Every time someone asks for the hookup, I think about that cartoon "The Critic" and how when the dude wrote a book he had one of those life size standups that said "BUY MY BOOK!" in the most annoying voice ever....

I always say that in my head...buy my book

Bernie said...

I think that person's intentions were quite clear. If you click on the seller's profile, he/she is an active eBay seller.

Perhaps the only alternative is to never "give" books away, but to only sell them, even at readings, expos and autograph sessions.

Frederick Smith said...

Bernie,
I hear you... unfortunately (yet fortunately) at Book Expo America, giving away books is the major way to make sure bookstore managers, reporters, and book club presidents know about your book. Most people's intentions are good. There's always the one apple that messes up the bunch :-) But I'm cool.
fs

CydneyR said...

baby get used to it. a book signed by the author is way more valuable then one that's personalized. so, if a reader is a collector, there are more chances that they will buy that 'free' book from an ebayer. if your book is a huge hit, it'll grow in value, and the reader feels great, like they've got something worth a lot of money.
only thing is, it's embarrassing if people are buying an unreleased book for 50 cents. that's when it gets bad.

cr

Frederick Smith said...

Hey Cydney,
Sorry I missed you at BEA. I agree about the books, value going up, signed copies, etc... I like signed copies too. I like to keep them in my collection.
fs

Cherlyn Michaels said...

Hey Frederick,

Glad to see from the post on my blog that you had a great time at the BEA. Hope to see you in D.C. next year! And, yes, as Cydney said, that's one of the evils of our business. You may see books that you give away for free up for sale on Amazon or Ebay. But hey, don't worry about it. We just have to focus on good writing and telling great stories. God will work out everything else. :-)

tayari said...

I agree that we have to get used to it.. but we don't have to LIKE it! Very often at a reading, I will be given a galley to sign. The person usually bought it on ebay. "I have the paperback," the person will say. They don't even know that the book was a bootleg copy. I had to learn just to get over it, there is nothing I can do...