Troubling Trend Threatens Self-Published Authors

I see a disturbing trend that is harming self-published authors. Amazon, publishing and other book outlets are encouraging authors to give their book away for FREE.

Who does this benefit? This practice helps book distributors and does a disservice to self-publishing authors around the world.

Why would you pour your precious time and your money into publishing a book only to give it away? Do you go to work and say to your boss, “I don’t need pay for today, I will work for free out of the generosity of my heart”?

Let’s think about this for a moment. If you can get a product for free from a company, it makes you happy, right? I understand this impulse. What happens when that same company comes back and tries to sell you something after you just received a free product? Your first impulse will be to say, heck no, why should I buy something, why not give it to me free like you did before. Why I should pay for it? I tell you what, I will just do some research and see if some other company is offering free items.

This is human nature. When an author gives his or her book away, it hurts them in the long run, and it takes the self-publishing industry down with each online book giveaway.

Don’t be fooled, the reader who received a free book will most likely not buy your next book. They will just find the next free book to read.

How do I know this? I have a relative that drives me nuts. He only reads free books and he told me that he will never purchase a book because there are so many free books available with more being offered every day. I tried to explain to him as a self-published author that self-published authors’ work so hard and begged him to support us. He doesn’t agree. He is an avid reader and fills his electronic reading device full of free books, more than he can read in a lifetime.

This makes me so sad, because some publishers and many online book outlets have pulled the wool over the authors’ eyes and they receive benefits leaving the author holding all the publishing and marketing expense.

One author just emailed this: “I’m so frustrated with all of the “something for nothing” crowd. It’s not just Amazon that is the problem, or any other established bookstore. It also has to do with companies in other countries. I have found my first e-book in Russia where they share it amongst themselves for free. It would appear that they got it from Google, but I can’t prove that. The last book, is also being read for nothing. While I admit that it gets read that way, and does some PR, it ISN’T right in all sort of areas. There is the copyright issue. There is the income issue. There is the culpability issue. I could go on and on.”

It is the author’s individual choice and right to give their book away. However, this cheapens our self-publishing industry for author’s rightfully expecting to make money on their books. Not to mention how discouraged authors are becoming.

I purchase all the books that I write reviews for and keep them in my kindle library to read over and over.

Please think long and hard before you give your book away online. Think beyond yourself. Remember as self-published authors, we are part of very respectable industry. It is hard enough to make a living writing books without having to compete with authors who give their books away.

This is an individual choice, but it affects the whole self-publishing industry and all your author friends.

truly lasting satisfaction could I possibly obtain?

Article Written by Book Marketing Global Network
Date: January 24, 2019


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