Monday, August 1, 2016

On behalf of all indie writers

I have a lot of writer friends on Facebook, both under my "A. Regina Cantatis" pseudonym and under my real name. Not too long ago, one of these friends made a post advertising their latest books, and some asshole responded with a smartass comment to the effect of "nyah nyah nyah, I got a free copy from another site."

I know this happens to all writers. I know it's happened to me more than once, although only one asshole has been asshole-ish enough to brag about it. But if you're one of those people who goes that route, think about this. Indie writers tend to be young people with spouses and children - and their spouses are bringing in most of the money so that the writer can keep trying to write in hopes of one day making it big. These authors are often middle- or lower-class. Some are disabled and can't work a standard job, and this is their only way of staying afloat.

Now think of your own experiences writing. We've all had to write essays and research reports in school, so we've all had the experience of looking at a blank page wondering how the hell to put words on it. Yes, some of us have the talent to do it, but guess what? It's not easy even for the people who do have talent. The authors who publish several books a year have to work at it like Olympic athletes, pushing themselves day in and day out, to produce that kind of output.

And then, if you're a mid-level indie author and not a superstar, the most you can really expect to charge for your hard work is $2.99. And Amazon, Smashwords, or whoever will take a cut - and then you'll be taxed on what's left.

So the next time you think about stealing a free copy of some author's book, just imagine a high school bully stealing a smaller kid's money. That's you.


sian said...

preach it.

Anonymous said...

Some people do not understand work, and how to value it. These people haven't worked for money for themselves, in many cases.

They don't value other people.

Simple example: I used to do web development for small businesses. It really was a 50/50 split on weather they'd pay me for the week or so of work I'd do on each. I'd end up having a site up that I poured my soul into for about a month, they would refuse to pay, I'd take it down to 'encourage' payment, and then get lawsuit threats and/or death threats.

It hurts. There's no question about it. I don't have a good solution, either :(

Keep up the great work; I'll continue to pick up a copies here and there :)