Why you should buy a book

I’m going to interrupt my grumblings on the things I don’t like in certain YA books to give you an important message: buy a book. In fact, buy several.

Book publishing has always been an odd business due to the fact that stores are allowed, at the publisher’s expense, to return unsold books. For the sake of example, let’s say a bookstore has 1000 books that it’s paid 10 dollars for, and when they don’t sell, the bookstore returns them to the publisher. Not only does the publisher have to pay the bookstore 10,000 dollars, it also has to pay the shipping—let’s say 200 dollars.

And that’s what has happened a lot in the last couple of months as the bookstores have felt the effects of the recession. One editor’s blog I read said that several publishers saw all their profits from 2008 vanish in October due to returned books.

Now we’re hearing about lay-offs at the publishers and freezes on acquiring new manuscripts. Scary.

So if you’re looking for a gift for someone this holiday season, try a book, a gift card for a bookstore—or even better, one of my books (which as you know from my website, make readers instantly skinny and rich.)

And really, reading is way more fun than that pair of slippers, new tie, or DS game that is all about blowing things up.

Happy reading!


  1. The Golfing Librarian
    December 4, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    But Janette, have you PLAYED that DS game that’s all about blowing things up? It is “wicked cool”! Maybe I’ll buy a book that explains how to blow up, kill, and maim more efficiently. Will that do? 🙂

    Seriously, I’m planning to give a few books as gifts this Christmas. So can we still be friends?

  2. megs
    December 4, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    Today I mentioned to my husband that I should only shop for him in Home Depot or any Ranch Store. He agreed and then asked me what my store of choice would be. I thought for about two seconds and said “Barnes and Noble”–or any other book store for that matter. Books are about all I buy for my children on Christmas and birthdays. I always have a huge list for Christmas! Now if only people would take the hint…

  3. Janette Rallison
    December 4, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    Just remember to save some space on the book shelf for my new books. (Why couldn’t my publishers have gotten them out before Christmas?)

    And yes, Chuck, we can still be friends even though you like to blow things up . . .

  4. Melanie J
    December 4, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    Please believe when I say that my book buying habits are the sole reason the entire industry hasn’t collapsed so far. I have a problem.

  5. Tamra Norton
    December 4, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    I went to The Scholastic Book Fair warehouse sale yesterday and bought roughly two dozen middle-grade and YA novels (even saw a few of yours there…but alas, I own signed copies of them all). 🙂 Anyhoo…I don’t know if this counts, but it sure is my favorite sale of the year!

  6. Janette Rallison
    December 5, 2008 at 7:44 am

    I love that sale here too! And Melanie, thanks for keeping the industry afloat!

  7. Tristi Pinkston
    December 7, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    I’m totally with you on this — we’re giving books for Christmas too!

  8. Danyelle Ferguson
    December 8, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    I totally agree. Our kids are getting lots of books from Santa.

  9. Julie Wright
    December 13, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    Books books books! It’s all I want and yet something I seldom get. Do people not know me at all????

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Paperback and ebook versions of "Fame, Glory, and Other Things on My To-Do List" by Janette Rallison posed on a shelf.