Monday, December 19, 2011

NATIONAL BUY A NOVEL DAY


Christmas is less than a week away. If you’re like most of us, you probably still have last minute shopping, wrapping, decorating, and baking on your to-do list. And you’ve probably spent beyond your budget. What you haven’t done, most likely, is given yourself a gift.

Today, I’m giving myself a gift.

You see, Besides Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers, my own blog, I contribute to two other blogs. I blog approximately once a month here at Inkspot and every two weeks at 7 Criminal Minds (which is a total misnomer, since there are 14 of us, so I suppose that means we each only have half a mind.)

The 7 Criminal Minds blog poses a question each week, and the 7 authors scheduled to blog that week have to answer the question. This week we were tasked with creating our own holiday, and as luck would have it, today is my day to blog both at 7 Criminal Minds and Inkspot.

Remember how I mentioned above that Christmas is less than a week away? Remember that to-do list? And here I am stuck with two blogs in one day. Hence, the gift I’m giving myself: I’m telling all of you about the holiday I created over at the other blog.

Cheating? Perhaps. But I’m going to do it anyway because it’s also my gift to my fellow Inkspot authors.

I hereby declare today National Buy a Novel Day.

For the past several months, ABC World News has featured an ongoing series called Made in America. One of the points made is that according to economists they spoke with, if everyone in America spent just $64 on goods made in America, it would create 200,000 new jobs. Given that the average person will spend $700 this year on Christmas and Hanukkah presents, it should be relatively easy to budget $64 for gifts made in America. The show even has a map on their website for finding goods made in America by state.

I propose that we create a National Buy a Novel Day to be held in December. This day would encourage people to buy novels as gifts. Most books sold in America are written (and illustrated) by Americans. Many are published by small and medium presses headquartered in America. Those publishers that are now part of worldwide conglomerates still have offices in America and employ thousands of Americans. Although some publishers are outsourcing their printing and even their copyediting overseas, for the most part, books are still printed in America.

Think about all the people whose livelihoods depends on book publishing. Not only the editors, cover artists, publicists, marketers, and salespeople who work for the publisher, but the clerks and secretaries and switchboard operators. The accountants and bookkeepers. The cleaning staff. The people who work in nearby businesses that these people frequent during their lunch hour.

Then there are the people who work for the printers, the bindery, the warehouse. The truckers who ship the books. The booksellers who sell the books. Librarians. The journalists who review the books.

If everyone in America spent just $64 on books this holiday season, we’d create 200,000 jobs in publishing and publishing related industries. How cool would that be? So cross off those must-have tchotchkes you were going to buy as gifts. They’ll go the way of the Furby and Pet Rock by the end of January anyway. Join the National Buy a Novel movement and buy books instead. Starving authors everywhere will thank you, and so will a lot of other people.

Lois Winston writes the critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries series. The first book, Assault With A Deadly Glue Gun, was a January 2011 release and received starred reviews from both Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Death by Killer Mop Doll will be a January 2012 release. Visit Lois at http://www.loiswinston.com and Anastasia at the Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog, http://anastasiapollack.blogspot.com.

14 comments:

Robin Allen said...

Great post, Lois! I hope someone in Congress reads this post and officially recognizes the Monday before Christmas as National Buy a Novel Day.

Lois Winston said...

Robin, wouldn't that be cool?

Expatriate Tax Return said...

Wow! Awesome post! Never would of thought of that!

Darrell James said...

There should totally be a National Buy A Novel Day! Let's start a petition!

Nice post, Lois.

LynW said...

Think about all the people whose livelihoods depends on book publishing...

Oh, maybe the Writers!!

Love the idea of "National Buy a Novel Day"! Thanks, Lois, for suggesting it.

Lois Winston said...

Thanks, Expat, Darrell, and LynW! Anyone know how to get the ball rolling on something like this? Anyone have the president's Blackberry number? Do you think this is something everyone in Congress could agree on?

Jess Lourey said...

Fantastic post that I'm sharing on Facebook. And you forgot to count the bartenders who serve the authors who write the books in your list of cottage industries supported by buying books. ;)

Lois Winston said...

Definitely need to add the bartenders. Thanks for thinking of them, Jess. And for posting on FB.

Vicki Doudera said...

I get texts from President Obama -- does that count?

Way to think creatively, Lois!

Lois Winston said...

Only if you can text him back, Vicki.

Kathleen Ernst said...

Love it!

Lois Winston said...

Thanks, Kathleen!

Beth Groundwater said...

Wow, Lois, that statistic ("If everyone in America spent just $64 on goods made in America, it would create 200,000 new jobs.") really makes you think! I'll be looking for more opportunities to buy American and to buy local.

Lois Winston said...

Yes, it really blew me away, too, Beth. Just $64. Incredible, isn't it?