photo by Sheri Dixon

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Writer's Bleck

So I've got these books up on Amazon Kindle.

Specifically, these here-


It's nifty, and pretty miraculous that "books" can be purchased without any paper being involved at all.

Of course Amazon wants to sell a bunch of 'em, since it's pretty much easy money for them because no actual physical merchandise changes hands. So they have these "tools" to help market the books.

One of them is being able to offer the books for free on a limited time basis. The theory is that if you have more than one book up, people will read one for free, then run with piqued interest to purchase the others.

I had a hard time reconciling this, and from what I've heard, so do a lot of other writers.

Writing books is not easy. It's a long and repetitive process- think/write/edit/cut/repeat from the first word till the last period. To just GIVE that away- especially for those who've employed (as in "paid") people to do their editing, formatting, artwork, layout, etc. really sticks in the craw.

I did a 24 hour free demo of Almost Invisible and 118 people downloaded it for free. Common sense says that those are 118 sales lost.

And I saw no big surges in sales. Although if people download a bunch and then read 'em later, there's no way of knowing who that'll influence...or not.

Of course, my first thought was, "What a bunch of cheap bastards- the damn books are under $3.00 full price".

From what I gather there are folks who download ANYTHING that's free, whether they like that type of book or not, and then they go write a crappy review because they don't like it. Even though they never woulda picked it off the bookshelf for realsies.

So why oh why is Easterchicks on free download for 24 hours starting at midnight tonight?

Why GIVE my hard work away?


These books ARE my heart. They ARE what I believe in so very strongly. I believe with my entire little treehugging soul that what's inside of 'em is real. And true. And vitally important.

I want them in front of people- sometimes the people who wouldn't normally read that kind of book are who need to see it the most. I'm a simple writer- nothing technical, nothing too deep- just enough to nudge a bit. If I spark an interest, there are all sorts of detailed sources to go to after my books.

I've given many copies of the REAL books away for just that reason.

A friend of mine did buy my books- as a favor, I'm sure. She admitted to me that she's "not a reader". She took Easterchicks with her on a weekend trip to have something to do in the car. When I talked to her after the weekend, she was actually lit up- I could not only hear it, I could see it- over the phone. She loved it. It made her think of things she hadn't thought of before. She's excited to try running her 25 acres a little differently, a little more naturally, a little more Earth Friendly.

She said she read it cover to cover on the trip there and was kicking herself for not bringing the others with her for on the way back.

THAT'S what's important to me. Right there.

Sales would be great. Nay, sales would be absofuckinglutely awesome.

But if all I were looking for were sales, I'd be writing Christian Vampire Lawyer Mystery Romance novels.

And as I was wrestling with the last bits of the "free giveaway" concept, it occurred to me

Hey. Once a book, ANY book is out in print it shows up at...the library.

For Free.

For Anyone.

I've always thought of that as a very good thing.

There have been times I flat couldn't afford a book from even the bargain bins at the bookstore, and the library has come through for me.

Times I haven't even had $3.00.

Happy Free Reading Friday to all.


  1. This is all SO true. On the one hand, why should artists be expected to give away their work for nothing? People might download it, but do they VALUE something they haven't paid for? Some research suggests that people are LESS likely to appreciate something they got for free than they are to value something they paid a lot of money for. Crazy, but true.

    On the other hand, we blog for free, and I love it. I'm not even hocking anything at the moment (I started the blog initially to advertise my editing business, but that isn't happening anymore, and still I write).

    I WANT people to know what I have to say. And I'll just about sell my soul to make it happen. Well, no, I won't sell my soul. But I WILL give my work away for free.

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go download this awesome free Kindle book I just read about...