There is a growing trend in society to believe that books should be free or heavily discounted and we have all been guilty of feeding into it. I pick up freebies but I am also happy to pay for the books I want. Maybe I can’t get all the ones I want but hey isn’t that just life? I see lots of clothes I like and I might be able to pick up a new dress for a special occasion or a new pair of jeans because my old ones have holes in where no self-respecting forty-something wants holes but I can’t buy every item that my heart desires. Certainly not on my non-existent income as an author. Just as well I have a full-time job that stops me from being a starving artist languishing in a garret with only bread and water to sustain me. My day-time job takes up a huge portion of my week and often leaves me drained but from somewhere I have to find the time for my passion which is writing. My dream would be my writing to take off and be able to write full-time but alas that can’t be at the moment.
Everyone of us has had people who ask for a free copy, I’d like to quote my friend and fellow author Chris Turnbull “erm No! There is no such thing as a free copy…even I don’t get a free copy and it’s my book.”
We do have a free copy on our computers, sure and we can send it to our Kindle device but if we want a print copy of our book, we have to pay – the proof copy isn’t even free. But let me tell you a bit more about what we’ve paid for: A beautiful cover, a feast to the eye, to tempt you, an editor to shape our words and spot mistakes and inconsistencies. And let’s be clear on this my editor and cover designer, both wonderful women who are also authors won’t accept it if I ask them to provide their services for free–which I wouldn’t do. Some people pay for marketing and do promotional giveaways.
I have three novelettes on the market at the moment and a pending novel (having the red pen treatment). A novelette is small, doesn’t require the same time frame to write it but I still used my time and I still paid for the above items. Yesterday was the two-year anniversary of my first novelette ‘As Dreams are Made on.’ Based only on the cover and editing alone I have lost £36.00 on it. So to recap, two years on and with 104 kindle sales and 16 paperback copies I am still in the red. I haven’t set my price high 0.99p/c because it is a short read. An hour or so of entertainment for under £1.00/$1.00 but still people want it for free. You could argue that if they like it they might buy one of my other books and yes that is true but lets also go back to the earlier paragraph where I acknowledged that I can’t buy all the books or clothes I like. So maybe it would generate sales–but maybe not.
Books aren’t just entertainment they are often an escape from reality –a reality that many people find challenging so given the duality of the product why do we question its value?
I’ve got an experiment for you to try (I won’t do it myself as I previously mentioned my busy schedule 🙂 )
Walk in to or phone your hairdresser and ask them if they will give you a free haircut.
Ring your garage next time your car needs a service or MOT and ask them to do it for free
Who loves having their nails done? Manicure? Pedicure? Facial? Let’s see about this freebie
The list is endless.
I would love to hear back from anyone who gets a freebie. Good luck and happy hunting.
But for this author who works endlessly and pays for the services I receive the only freebies I will consider are those that I choose to give for a promotional event which will require your participation.
For anyone who believes that authors should be paid for their work please leave a comment in support and it you are so inclined please share it with the hashtag #Booksarenotfree let’s get it trending.
If you are interested in my books follow the links:
If you want to know more about my books have a look at the other pages on this website. You can even see the reviews that I have left for the books I’ve read recently.