Loving v. Virginia was the landmark civil rights decision by the United States Supreme Court that invalidated laws preventing inter-racial marriage. Virginia had strict anti-miscegenation laws which prohibited marriage between ‘whites’ and 'coloreds’. The couple who brought these charges to the court was Mildred and Richard Loving—a black woman and her white husband—who were sentenced to a year in prison for marrying each other. The Supreme Court overturned the Lovings’ convictions in a unanimous decision on June 12, 1967, now colloquially known as “Loving Day”.
The case has been receiving renewed attention thanks to a number of recent works. From Chronical Books, Loving V. Virginia by Patricia Hruby Powell and illustrated by Shadra Strickland is a gorgeous “documentary novel” based on the case. For younger readers, there’s The Case for Loving by Selina Alko with illustrations by the author and Sean Qualls, available from Scholastic Books. Finally, in theaters now, Loving directed by Jeff Nichols, starring Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga, who is Oscar-nominated this year for her performance.
Okay, but actually, did any kid actually have access to all the Animorphs books? Every fan I’ve talked to seems to have had this bizarre experience where the available libraries only had the first five books, and then like a handful in the 20s-40s, thus forcing kids to develop a desperate trading system because no one owned all the books either.
“A Niffler is a creature with a long snout and a coat of black, fluffy fur. They are attracted to shiny things, which make them wonderful for locating treasure, but this also means that they could wreak havoc if kept (or set loose) indoors. Niffler’s in general are usually harmless.“
This is pretty simple. Authors get paid when you buy their books. If you don’t buy their books, they don’t get paid. They get paid a percentage of the price you pay for their books. If you buy highly discounted books (from amazon or B&N or Scholastic book fairs), they get paid a lot less. If you borrow a book from the library, they got paid for that one time (in the US), but at least they got that. If you read a book from a pirated site, they don’t get paid.
The problem I see is that most people don’t understand this very simple equation. They think that authors get paid by publishers just to be authors. Hint: we don’t. Authors don’t get paid to do book tours. Unless people buy their books. Authors don’t get paid by the government to be authors. Authors don’t get paid by Hollywood for their books unless they get a pittance if they’re actually given an option (1% of authors get books optioned, 1% of those get made into movies). If an author gets a movie made, they still make very little of that money, except for if books are purchased. If an author wins an award, most of the time, they make no money from that directly, only if more books are sold.
Are you starting to understand what my point is here?
Yes, some authors make money on the side doing school visits for children. A lot of them don’t even make that, especially in Utah, where local publishers are using school visits as a promotional opportunity and have nearly eliminated the market for paid visits from authors who AREN’T trying to push books on kids. (Yes, I have strong feelings about this.)
Yes, these days authors make money sometimes by being youtube celebrities (I can count on one hand the number of authors doing this). Yes, authors sometimes make money through Patreon, though this is pretty new and we’re still figuring it out. Think about this for a minute. Authors have to hustle to make money because actually writing books doesn’t pay them very much. What? Yeah, even NYT best-selling authors are not making enough to pay mortgages sometimes.
Lots of authors are offered lots of opportunities to write for “promotion.” We do need to promote ourselves if we’re going to stay in the game and keep getting contracts for new books. But promotion is pennies. I’m not trying to complain about my chosen profession. This part of it sucks, but there are other wonderful parts, clearly, or I wouldn’t stay. But if you want to help me out and thank me for any of my writing you’ve gotten to read for free, it’s really simple. Buy one of my books. And while you’re at it, buy a book from another author you love.