1. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Should Royalties be paid for sales of Used/Second-Hand books?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by TWErvin2, Dec 25, 2008.

    Came across this blog post. It has some interesting links and discussion.

    Should second-hand book stores pay royalties?

    What do you all think?

    I've got some thoughts but will chime in later.

    R-Tech
     
  2. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Should Detroit receive an additional payment on each used vehicle sold through independent dealers? Should I send Fender Guitars a small "royalty" every time I buy or sell a used guitar?

    Writers get paid on the sale of "new" books. Demand for the author's story is most often generated by word of mouth and there is no better advertisement than a satisfied reader. It is in each writer's best interest to have as many people as possible read his/her book...even used books. If the story is compelling enough, a "critical mass" will be reached where the demand for the book will far out pace the availability of used books, and ironically, it may have been the easy access to used books that drove the market.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    first of all, that would be next to impossible to enforce, should it be made mandatory...

    besides the fact that to have to keep books and make payments on every 5%-of-fifty-cents-resale would put used booksellers out of business...

    it's not the same as a rerun of a tv show, where the actors should be paid every time it's aired, since the show is seen by many, generating revenue to the network from the commercials shown during its airing, and the used book is bought to be read by just one, with no money being made by the bookshop owner from anything but the piddling little resale price...
     
  4. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not to mention libraries selling old books to make room for the new ones. There is no way they would manage it, especially since they usually only charge a dollar, if that.
     
  5. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, what they said.

    So i guess the answer's no LOL
     
  6. garmar69
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    garmar69 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I haven't read that blog yet, but it is something I've thought about when I peruse used book stores. I have to agree with Salty and maia. It would be next to impossible to enforce, and ridiculous to try given the limited amount of times a book passes through different hands before it either finds itself in a collection, or the garbage.
     
  7. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yep, I'm not for royalties for second-hand book sales.

    One would think it odd for a contractor to demand a percentage everytime a home he built is purchased by a subsequent occupant. Trying to justify the same to readers--hey, the author has already earned his royalty once, why should he get paid again...and again...for something that isn't new. Plus, I wonder if the publisher should then get a cut of the resale?

    Beyond that, the accounting nightmare... One comment or idea in the blog was that the royalty would only be due for books less than two years old. And how would one keep track of say a novel that's remained in print for several years?

    Terry
     
  8. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Guerrilla marketing...I have recently provided one free copy of my book to each of the used books stores in my city...only cost me twelve copies. I am hoping it gets bought and sold many times over as this will help create interest in the book and new sales. If this is successful, I will extend the effort to other cities, gradually expanding the geographic area in which the book is circulating. It's really cheap advertising!
     
  9. garmar69
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    garmar69 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Great analogy. I wouldn't mind getting a second go around on the kitchen cabinets I build when people sell though...:D

    One thing that peeves me is when I see those paperbacks with the cover ripped off in yard sales and bargain bins in this area. The author never got paid for those the first go around and someone is reaping the benefits. I know it isn't a lot of money, but that doesn't make it right and I refuse to buy one.

    That's a good idea Salty. Have you seen any results yet? I've seen some local authors that have self published and donated to the local libraries. They usually set up a stand for them and plug them to anyone who will listen. I wish you the best of luck D.
     
  10. HKB
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    HKB Contributing Member

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    Ugh. no.
     
  11. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    That's pretty cunning... I'm impressed :D
     
  12. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    As Maia already mentioned, good, bad, or indifferent, how would one even go about the enforcement? Used book sellers operate on such a tight profit margin that it would seem more hobby than business to own such store. It would put them under and that would be a true shame.
     
  13. ZionsRodeVos
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    ZionsRodeVos New Member

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    I like that idea and most likely will use it once I publish a book.

    ----

    As for the royalties question, I don't believe an author should get royalties on used book sales. They got it when the book was sold new. I took the view of it was just like IPO's. When a stock is first offered the company issuing the stock gets the money. After that each time their stocks change hands they don't get money from that sale.
     
  14. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's hard to track the source of sales. Did they come from referrals, friends, former fans of my bass fishing writing or response to some other guerrilla marketing I started? When the book first came out, I sold a little over 200 copies before I stopped all marketing. Since then, another 30 have been purchased. BTW - I stopped marketing because I got advice that the book should not be promoted until it was available in major book stores. As of this week, I am filling my first order from Barnes & Noble, and as soon as the book shows up in their catalog system, I will rev up the guerilla marketing efforts...including such ideas as more donations to used book stores in nearby major cities, "reverse" shop-lifting (cool idea...go into bookstores that have not yet ordered your book and leave a couple copies in their sci-fi section. When those copies sell, the store automatically orders replacement stock!)

    As far as royalties for used books, I see used-book outlets as cheap advertising, so I wouldn't want to see anything that might slow or jeopardize used book sales.

    Sorry for getting off subject Terry. Just answered his questions.
     
  15. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not a problem. Topics are meant to evolve!

    Terry
     

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