Saturday, February 8, 2014
Why I no longer pick up free eBooks. There is a school of thought that believes giving away free books is the way to get your name known and it may be true. But I have come to believe that the only person that is truly being helped by this is Amazon and other retailers who subscribe to the idea that if a person is on their site and picks up a free book they are apt to buy other things. I believe this does help Amazon and others sell lots of kindles, and other digital readers as well as many other products. I, however, believe it does more harm than good for authors. I remember a time I worked as an administrative assistant for an extremely fine Chinese restaurant in Chicago. It was the second restaurant they had opened, one being in another section of town. Their egg rolls had won international awards their food superb, unfortunately, their lease was not. So they began a serious of give-away parties in an attempt to draw in diners. Instead, what happened was people just waited for the next free party. Oh a few people dined there during off party months, but most went elsewhere and waited. Is that what we as writers are doing, continuing the expectation that writers, musicians, and artists should not earn money from their labor? It is a question that I am struggling with and until I can find a way to believe it is something that in the long run truly help anyone, you will seldom if ever find me giving away free books, nor will I pick up a free book. I will put it on my wish list and wait till it is no longer free. I will support an author, musician, or artist in any other way I can, but I won’t take that free book. I do, however, believe Amazon’s new match program to be worthy of looking into, for it seems to be more of a buy one get one free thing. I suspect if Amazon instead had a way to price eBooks lower than $.99, and enabled people to run ½ price eBooks I might support that, but I am not sure either. Don’t get me wrong, if in my opinion, if the book is priced too high for an eBook, I won’t buy it either. There again, it is a matter of perspective, because the cost of printing, paper, and ink are involved I understand and agree with paperback and hardcover pricing. But, in this digital world without those costs I take issue with an eBook that is over $4.99 or so, especially when in most cases it is the publisher making the profit and not the author. So there you have it, I would like to see Amazon and others, offer packages of eBooks, or buy a kindle/kobo etc. and get x amount of free books (of your choice) but pay the author. I would like them to offer an option for novelettes and short stories to be priced under $.99.