I’ve never addressed this topic before, but I just feel compelled to do it now. What you may read below, by Janus Gangi, an author friend of mine, may get your hackles up as a reader. HOWEVER, try putting yourself in a writer’s shoes: What if you put your time and energy into writing books, and suddenly everyone thought you needed to give them away free? Or just as bad, slammed your work as crap and a piece of trash? One lady who responded to Ms. Gangi’s post below had the audacity to say the following:
” . . . if you can’t pay your bills writing books you should get another job.”
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? REALLY? And I’m inclined to say this: If you are such an entitled cheapskate: give up reading and find another hobby!!
I’m so sorry. That was unlady-like and uncalled for. But here’s the thing, I appreciate my current readers and future readers, but honestly, ladies and gentlemen, please put yourself in my position: I work hard at what I write, and I put lots of effort in getting beta readers to review my work, as well as PAY an editor and cover designer to put the finishing touches on everything. I do my utmost to put out the best quality book that I humanly can. If you think indie writers put out crap, or that I put out crap, I’ll throw down this gauntlet: WRITE YOUR OWN PERFECT BOOK, THEN! Let’s see how well you do. Go ahead, I dare anyone of you to try, if you haven’t done it before. Enough of my rant, here’s Janus Gangi’s Post:
“I was brought up to believe that if you want anything in this life you must work hard for it , nothing is just handed to you. Life is NOT about the” free ride”. But lately, I have seen a disturbing trend happening in the writing world that not only affects me but all my fellow authors.
As you all know, I post many free books on my page. I do this as a courtesy to my fellow authors. I realize that the most important thing a new author must achieve is name recognition. And so, by sharing their links in some small way I can help them reach that goal.
But let’s step back and take a real good look at “free books” and what their purpose is and what has sadly has been the result of this trend.
Overall book sales are drastically down. Why? Because we in the book business have spoiled our readers into thinking they deserve to get ALL their books for free. And now an even more sinister practice has come to light. When books are not for free, readers are reading them and then returning them for their full purchase price.
I AM FURIOUS!
It takes an awful lot to get this witches cauldron to boil over but it finally has and so I think it is time to set the record straight.
For far too long the misconception that writers are independently wealthy and can afford to sit for hours writing and editing a manuscript is nothing more than a hobby is BALDERDASH!
There is not one of you that will work a forty hour week and expect no pay for it, but yet, that is what is expected of authors.
Writing a manuscript can take anywhere from months to years to be completed. And then because readers rightfully expect nothing less than an excellent plot line, correct grammar, and no typos, the editing process can take just as long and in some cases longer.
Mind you there is not one good writer out there that will rely on their own editing skills and so, we must hire an editor. The key word is hire; we pay to have our works edited. Now let’s just think about this for a moment…. Oh that’s right authors have bills too! Who’da thunk?
Oh and then there are all those pretty book covers that readers love to be enticed by. News flash: they are not free. We must hire a graphic artist to create them and we must pay for their services.
We also need electricity to light our homes and run our computers. We have rent or mortgage payments due at the beginning of every month. We eat and so we must pay the grocery store or starve. We have children and grandchildren that need clothes, shoes and school supplies. We are no different than any other group of working people. We just work at home. Some of us have more than one job. We work from nine to five and then, exhausted, come home and write.
Don’t get me wrong, we all love what we do. But authors are not second class citizens; we deserve to receive an honest salary for our labors.
The next time you see a link for a book why not change your way of thinking? Instead of saying, “Oh, that looks interesting. I’ll just wait for it to go free,”
purchase the book, support authors and the arts by sharing the links.” BY: Janus Gangi
So what’s your take on all this: Do you really think books should be free? Do you buy other books from an author if they offer a free one? Do you sit around and snap up free books and don’t buy much of anything? Have you ever tried to be in business for yourself and people say and do the darndest things–before walking away and purchasing nothing . . .?