Thursday, May 10, 2012

My Books are Worth It!

After my last posting, I realized maybe I should have explained some of my frustrations with the recent deluge of free ebooks on the market, freely given away by their authors for promotional purposes. Frankly, they're robbing authors like me blind. 

When readers are getting free books everyday of the week, why would they purchase my inexpensive tomes?

I've been on book forums where readers openly state, "I have hundreds of free ebooks downloaded on my Kindle. By the time I've read those books, I'll have downloaded hundreds more. I'll never have to buy a book again!"

As a writer, my heart bleeds when I hear/read such statements. Sure, I'm glad readers are enjoying reading a wide variety of fiction. I, too, go to the library and check out books (the paper kind since I can't afford a Kindle or Nook), and I do like reading a book or two from a new author to see if there's a "good fit" there between us. What I don't like to hear is that after reading one or two freebies readers don't care if they read another book by that author again--not if they have to purchase it. (And why would these readers buy if they're sure these authors will give away their next books free "for promotional purposes" in a few months?)

The consequence of all these free ebooks being dumped on the market is that no one is rushing to buy ebooks by midlist authors at all. (Midlist = Writers who aren't J.K. Rowling, Nora Roberts, John Grisham and the like.) Midlist author sales are dropping or levelling off. No book sales equals no book royalties. No royalties equals no income for authors. To put this simpler yet, no income equals no eating for some of us who depend on our writing income to purchase groceries.

A book in need of a good e-reader!

So why don't I give away some (or all) of my ebooks for free for promotional purposes? The price of my books are out of my control. My books are published through legitimate publishers as opposed to being self-published as so many of these free ebooks seem to be. I suppose I could twist my publisher's arm and ask if I can, too, list one of my books for free on Amazon for a day or a week, but why should I? I sweated and toiled to write that book--don't I deserve the meager royalty I can make for a sale?

Face it--if a book is given away for free, is it really worth anything in the mind of the person receiving the freebie?

To protest the outrage I feel about this glut of free ebooks flooding the market (and destroying it at the same time) I'm starting my own campaign called "My books are worth it!" Feel free to borrow the banner above, link to this blog and spread the news. 

Our books ARE worth it! Because you get what you pay for!

You can find purchase links to my fiction books at


A J said...

Hear hear! I'm heartily sick of the "I want stuff for free" mentality so prevalent these days. Authors work hard to produce a good book, one that'll repay the time the reader invests in reading it. They should reap the reward just like any other professional person.

Cindy said...

I agree, AJ. Would you expect a plumber to work for free fixing your clogged sinks? Would you expect your lawyer to handle your legal affairs for free? Do you expect "free entertainment" from the cable company whenever you watch TV? Do you expect free groceries when you go to the supermarket? Does McDonald's hand out free hamburgers daily? No, we pay for these services and products. Writers provide both products and a service--entertainment and information. Why shouldn't consumers (readers) pay for our products and service like they do when purchasing products and services from other professionals?

google-site-verification: googlec9fe367ac800d499.html