I’ve just seen an advertisement from yet another company that wishes us writers to give our books away for Free while they charge us for the pleasure of doing so. It does make me cross. As far as I’m concerned the only place books should be available for free to the reader is in a library.
All writers should value their hard work, as undertaking writing a novel isn’t easy, and is time consuming. Would you work for free in hope of earning money in the future?
I wouldn’t expect a toilet cleaner to work for free, yet it seems to me these companies like BookBub, HelloBooks etc expect us writers to first of all pay them and then give our books away for free. This is fine if a company like BookBub is working with a huge publishing company like Random House or Headlines who has a marketing budget of hundreds of pounds and is a world wide brand.
I run my writing career like a business. I have manufactured a product .i.e. my books, which I advertise for sale. Once my product produces a sale I reinvest the money into my business hoping to take it to the next level. Giving my books away isn’t a sound investment. All I’m doing is adding to the huge pile of unread books sitting on kindles and on Goodreads. The internet is awash with writers offering their books for free in hope of encouraging readers to read their books, but all this is doing is undermining the market, and encouraging readers to fill their kindles with free books. None of the big publishing companies would continuously give their big named authors’ books away for free, so why should we?
I have to date given nearly 6k books away for free, and have seen next to nothing back. Goodreads tells me that there is a good number of readers with my books in their to-read list. Some of those readers have over 20k books on their to-read list so I’m not expecting a flood of reviews, or to earn any money back from pages turned.
Maybe I’m just too much of a sceptic to believe these companies are a wise investment for us writers without the backing of a large publishing company, investing in our books. Too often I see it as others making money from my hard work without me earning a dime. I accept the second-hand market of a book sold in aid of a charity or given away to family and friends as the book has been bought at its full price at one point whether that be an ebook or paperback.
I feel the time has come to find a new way of generating sales for our books without giving them away for nothing.
What’s your view point and how much are you willing to pay for a book?