Author’s Advice Pt. 16

If you’re good at something, don’t do it for free!

Okay, let me start off by saying that I’m aware a lot of people are going to disagree with me on this, and I am aware that there are exceptions to this rule. If you want to donate copies of your book to a local shelter, library, or even just throw a few sample copies in public places to get the word out, that’s fine. I do that every now and again.

My issue comes when I see people posting professional writing on here or when you publish on nook or kindle for free. Even if it’s just a hobby, you put in a lot of time and energy into that work that could have been donated to other endeavors. You deserve to be compensated for that even if said compensation isn’t much (your writing, it won’t be). If you think putting your book out for free is a good way to get your name out there and give yourself exposure, while giving the writers an idea of what your write, then post a chapter, or a direct quote from your book, but the entire thing?

I know a lot of authors who have tried to justify that by giving away a book, readers will buy a copy later or will buy the next book that comes out. Admittedly, I haven’t been in the writing circle that long, but I have been here long enough to know that this rarely works unless you have the devil’s own luck. People in this day and age like to cling to their money as if their lives depend on it. Why would they pay for a book when they can get another for free? They wouldn’t. Unless you somehow managed to develop a die-hard fan base, in most cases, they’ll just move on to the next freebie.

“Well it’s not about the money.”

That’s fine, I understand it’s not about the money, it’s not about the money for me either… I’d find a different talent if it was.
But what are you doing by giving it away? You’re devaluing your work for one. In writing circles, it often comes across as you don’t think you’re writing is good enough unless your giving it away. I’ve actually spoken to people about it and they actually believe that no one would read their work UNLESS it’s free. So now we’ve basically given writers an inferiority complex. If you don’t want the money, then put it to good use in some way other than profiting.

Think about it, do you see businesses giving away their products for free? Maybe one or two as a promotional gimmick in a contest, or as a bonus when you buy something else, but never just give it away. You’ll never go into a store and have someone hand you a full product for free. They may give you a sample, or offer you a discount, or even free with the purchase of (insert product), but they’ll never just hand it over to you.

Anyway, that’s all for this round, feel free to post a comment below if you disagree, I would actually like to hear differing opinions on this one and maybe even some success stories.


Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

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2 thoughts on “Author’s Advice Pt. 16

  1. wwannwrites says:

    In my personal experience as a reader, I got Be My Love by Lucy Kevin for free. That book was so good that I bought the next three books in the series on ibooks. Many times I will get talking books for free from my library, but when I send the book back, if I really like it, I will review it on my blog, so the next person can purchase it if they want. In these cases, it’s good to offer a sample of the book, or one book in a series for free, but to simply give away your writing, I don’t agree with that, because you can’t make a living off your writing if you give it all away.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We agree and as you said this is a popular debate in self-publishing. Give-a-ways, within reason, as a promotion are one thing, but a full length well written, professionally edited and covered manuscript is another.

    Like

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