Not long ago a couple of writers on my Facebook page advertised that their eBooks would be free for one day on Amazon. Free sounded like a good price but as I have no electronic reader, I was unable to take advantage of the offer. Later that afternoon, as I was browsing through the August edition of Money, I came across another bargain: Free-eBooks.net. The website offers readers electronic books at no cost on the presumption that new and independent writers will grow an audience. After reading the article, I put the magazine down and wondered if giving a book away made sense.
As an author, I do give books away. I provide them to book reviewers and book bloggers, hoping for a favorable comment; but giving my art away to a potential buyer seems counterproductive. I’m not stingy. If someone needs the shirt off my back, I’ll gladly give it. But I’m disinclined to treat my art, if I may call it that, as worthless.
A friend of mine recently had her first book published and her family and acquaintances seemed to think she should pass out copies like party favors. I advised her to inform these friends and family where to purchase her novel, instead. Something there is about the word “free” that promotes disrespect. And what evidence exists to prove that after getting a free book, the recipient will shell out $15 for the next? I’ve found none.
My advice to my fellow writers is to give your shirt away, your heart away and all the money in your wallet if you must. But hold your art dear.
(Courtesy of photobucket.com)