I want to start this by saying that I know I live in an extremely privileged area. I’m in the fourth largest city in the United States. I have tons of access to quick shipping, huge systems etc. So some of these tips may not apply to where you are, but I am really hoping that we influence change in the publishing world since we are the consumers.
How to make your book habit cheaper…
I keep a spreadsheet to track how much I spend on books. It makes me more cognizant of my spending habits AND I enter how much I save by shopping discounts, used stores and the library!
Libraries are your friend
I know everyone doesn’t have the best library access. But to those of you who do… why aren’t we using them?! I love the library and use it quite often. We have a great inter-library loan option so I online shop it and place holds at the location where I want to pick up.
Have you requested your library carry a book? A lot of libraries will stock a book if they get enough requests so make sure that you check your options.
Don’t get sucked into special editions and boxes
They are beautiful and they are fun, but do you really use all of those items? I’ll admit that I HAD to get a Kingdom of Ash Hangover Box. But out of those items I legitimately only use the booksleeve and pin. I threw out the t-shirt, the candle has glitter so I didn’t burn it, etc.
I love to collect and if that is where you want to spend your money then do it. But I also know that my $30 collectors edition Throne of Glass is currently on Book Outlet for about $10. So if I had been patient about a book I have already read… I could have gotten it cheaper.
Ask yourself if you really need the hardback
Hardbacks are almost always more expensive. I prefer them because they hold up better, but do I need every book in a hardback? Can I wait for the paperback to come out? Is an e-book an option?
As book bloggers we feel the need to get the brand new editions immediately, but here is a secret: My backlist book reviews get better views than my new releases.
So if you can’t stand e-books, wait around for the paperback. Or better yet, wait until it’s on Book Outlet.
Check out Book Outlet
I know they ship international so that is amazing! The thing about Book Outlet, is that it’s dangerous. Books are so discounted that we go a little wild. I made some rules for my Book Outlet and for purchases in general.
- Must be part of series I am already reading
- Author I know I will love, OR
- Book I have read through library, ARC etc and want to own
Those rules have saved me from a ton of extra shopping sprees and have kept down my spending in general.
Acknowledge that bans rarely work
We don’t have that kind of self control. I know I don’t. I use my purchasing rules and go to the library for books that i’m not sure about or wait for an amazon kindle sale. If I cut myself off completely, I will end up splurging and buying more books that I’m not sure about.
Charity Shops and Used Bookstores
I love used bookstores. The smell of older books is the best smell. Also, they will give you credits sometimes. Check in your area, because my old bookstores in New Mexico would take trade-ins for credits on books. My parents and grandma do this all the time. I don’t think my dad has paid full-price for a book in ages.
So this is where I think we can really help each other out. Especially international bloggers, who primarily have to get their books online. Book Swaps people. For ARCs, there is already an amazing program in place called Flapping Pages. If you are an international blogger and want access to ARCs, check out this page and learn more about this amazing program. I know this is where all of my ARCs are going when I finish them.
I have been pondering the idea of a more regional book swap program to help with mailing costs. It drives me crazy that so many readers have to pay extreme prices just to get a book. Plus, so many books are only printed in certain languages and sold in particular places. I wonder if we could come up with a book blogger map or regional lists for book swaps. I know we have a ton of people in my state alone and can mail a book for $5 when we are done with it. We need to help each other out so please let me know if you are interested in helping out with something like this.
Do you have any advice on keeping down costs? Let me know in the comments!