Yet this is exactly what is happening on a regular basis at curriculum fairs and by letter and email every day! Exactly! Not in heart, but in effect. Every time you ask a vendor if they'd give a discount, or you go buy the product from another vendor who sells it for less, or "do you have a creative way of making taking your course more affordable?" the exact same thing is happening. This is not to bring condemnation, only awareness.
Everyone loves to save money, and frugality is the quality that will help us do so. Yet the practice of saving a buck just to save a buck is going to actually be to the undoing of many in the long-run. The only way vendors and authors get paid for their services and the products into which they have sunk a tremendous outlay of personal finances (remember, they are not publicly funded) is if they either get full price for their products, or if they opt to almost "give their books away" to the discounters who can afford to buy them in huge quantities. But most small homeschool businesses can't afford to sell their books at those huge discounts. Even if they could, they'd have to have (build or buy) space to store all those books in until they're sold!
(And, just so you'll know, this is what we are doing, selling to a major
discount company. However we made it clear that this "big
discounter" is not to discount our book, and they have agreed to
this! This is not only in fairness to ourselves, but to all the
homeschool home businesses who have been faithfully purchasing from us for
many years and who do not discount. Also, they have not required us to
give them a ridiculously low discount, so we are very pleased and blessed
to work with them!)
I know of several cases where homeschool servant-experts (for lack of a better term ~ I mean the ones who have been homeschooling for many years and have developed messages and products for the homeschooling community) did not make enough at this, primarily because of homeschoolers taking their business to discounters. And they had to eventually give it all up and go into a "regular job" where they could actually make money.
Homeschool libraries can also be a good place for moms to go in together to collect all the resources needed for a "Season of Re-education and Renewing of the Mind" that one person may not be able to afford. (Though it'll only be part of their own library.) However I've seen these same moms not think twice about spending three and four times what they would have spend on such a season on text and workbooks instead! Had they gone through the season I suggest, they would have needed far less text and workbooks! Homeschool libraries, not used with a heart of integrity, will put homeschool servant-vendors out of business at least as fast as the discounters.
This brings up the question of regular homeschool moms loaning their book to friends. One homeschool mom wrote to me asking what to do about a friend who wanted to borrow her Form+U+la and make copies. She had rightly told the friend that she was welcome to borrow the book for the purpose of finding out if it was something she needed and wanted to get for herself, but *not* for the purpose of "stealing." This "borrower" was very irritated at this mom's position and was going to do so anyway, and she wanted me to tell her what to do. I can't tell anyone what to do, but I can tell them what is right to do. And I (and others) have done so in the articles that Donna mentioned in her post. Basically, you need to pay for what you're getting. For one thing, it's only right; for another, if you don't, the homeschool authors will simply be unable to continue their services to homeschoolers. Books will go out of print and authors will not be compensated for their blood, sweat and tears. It's that simple.
As for loaning, my feeling is that your only purpose in loaning your copy of a book to friends should be to give them an opportunity to peruse the book so that they can see whether or not it's something they want to buy. This is not a legalistic command; simply the right, ethical, and gracious way to approach this matter. Anything less is simply stealing from the one who put every single "dot and tiddle" on each of those pages. It really is that simple. People think "It's only one book!" ~ but it isn't. This is widespread. And every book that is "borrowed" is that much less income (directly) for the ones who are trying to continue producing them. Funny, but the companies who produce our books won't take lavish gratitude in payment; they want cold hard cash, several thousand dollars (about $14,000 to be a bit more specific) for each run of the book. If this sounds like a lot of money, I assure you IT IS.
Here's the bottom line: Do you want businesses like ours to keep going? If you do, then do your part by buying the book. Every sale (or lack thereof) directly affects us. And buying directly from an author (if they self-publish their books, as we do) is a much greater financial blessing to the author than getting it through a wholesaler. We want them to stay in business too(!), but if you are being ministered to on this list and it is a blessing and encouragement to you, consider buying through us. If you heard about it through the work of one of our dear vendors and they are a blessing and encouragement to you (which takes their precious time), then buy from them! Try purchasing a computer, web publisher program, several hundred books, or a desk, computer chair, or file cabinet with only a payment of love!
Subj: [shf-l] Re: upcoming conventions and "bargain hunting"
I can't close without saying that I hate talking about the money end of things!!! It makes me sound so mercenary!!! My HEART is to just GIVE the book away to everyone who needs it!!! But we obviously can't do that! So the only alternative is for things to be handled in a way that is conducive to "God's economy" (in which "the servant is worthy of his hire") rather than the world's way (which is focused on the purchaser, on discounting, and on how little one can get by with paying). How would you and your husband feel if this were how paying him in his job were handled ~ on a *usual* basis?!?
I got the twirling dollar sign(s) at
(where they have all sorts of
amazing things like this!)
(I have lost the source of the rose
background, so if you know what it is,
please let me know!)
To the Article Chart
(There are more articles of this nature in the "Homeschool
Resourcefulness & Purchasing" section of the Article Chart.)
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