Essays

Books and Teachers and Money, Oh My!

Besides all the craziness lately about what it costs to attend festivals and what teachers get for teaching (sometimes, not even their entry fee), someone recently posted in a group on Facebook that she was giving away ebooks.

She swore they’d been paid for, so the authors had received their royalties, and now she’s giving them away.

Except, you know, she hadn’t paid for them, and didn’t have a license to give them away. Because this gift to her had helped her so much, and she wanted to help the community by sharing. Because if she shares, maybe people will buy other books by the same authors.

This, y’all, is why we can’t have nice things.

I don’t know if you realize it, but most authors make a dollar or so per book sold.  That means that most of the time, even very popular Pagan authors aren’t paying their bills by selling books. Because we have to have other sources of income, that takes time away from writing.

If we’re teaching, there are class fees, and that helps pay the bills too…but let’s face it, a $10 a person class that brings in 10 people, minus whatever amount we’re sharing with the space that’s hosting the class, is not likely to do much beyond buying this week’s groceries.

It takes a *lot* of hustle to make a living this way, which is why most Pagan authors don’t make their living writing and teaching. There’s not enough hustle in the world to make that work in this small of a market.

Breaking copyright – giving away copies of books for free – just makes it that much worse.  You’re stealing from the authors who created those books.

And I don’t know about you, but most of us magical witchy type folks understand that karma is a thing, and it comes back around.

So….buy your books fairly. Used if you must, but if you can, get them new, preferably at a local Pagan owned shop. Spending your hard earned cash in our community makes our community stronger, and helps keep authors writing, artists creating, and shops in business.

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