Matt Selman offers A Moral Guide to Online Book Buying, in which he says:
The sticky question is this: when you buy a book online, you must ask yourself, “Who needs the money more — the author or the bookstore?”
Authors deserve to be paid for their work, but America’s independent bookstores are dying. When you buy a NEW book on Amazon, a royalty is paid to the author, and the rest of the money goes to the publisher and Amazon. When you buy a USED copy from a network of independent book sellers, like Alibris or AbeBooks or even Amazon Marketplace, the store gets (almost) all the money — and the author gets nothing.
Yes, ’tis a sticky question indeed. That’s why I steal books.
How about you? Do you think about author compensation when you buy books online?