|Picture c/o Herts Advertiser|
So once again your friendly local writer has been asked by somebody to ''donate'' a book to a blog giveaway. This is happening more and more and I am getting a tad fed up of it. There is too much wanting summat for nowt out there, as my late Yorkshire father-in-law might have said.
As some of you know, I have my own views on the ''Free book/Ebook'' promotion thing. My views being that it creates the expectation in readers that something you sweated blood over for years is worth less than a small cappuccino. Happy to retweet your promo if you insist on doing it because you are a friend, but Hell will freeze over before I voluntarily choose to join you. And from what I gather, some of the nastiest reviews on Amazon come from people who acquired your book for nothing. Go figure.
Interestingly, in one of those plot lulls that occur at about 42 thousand words, I sat down last week and actually worked out my hourly rate if I were to regard writing as a business, and pay myself a wage from what I bring in via book sales. Let us just say that there is no way I shall be awarding myself a £3 million bonus at the end of this financial year.
What I think some of the freebie people fail to realise (if they are not writers themselves) is that the cover price for a book falls far short of what the writer of the book actually receives. (For breakdown on earnings, see post on Agents here). Currently the selling price of the paperback edition of Diamonds&Dust (£6.99), after all necessary bookshop discounts, supplier discounts, printer discounts and contractual obligations have been taken off barely gives me 44p a copy. Shocked? Thought you might be.
Entirely self-published writers are slightly different, but are unlikely to charge as much as ''publisher'' published books. Unless they are very well established. By which time they have probably been snapped up by a publisher anyway. Mind, all our books are discounted on Amazon, so you are unlikely to ever pay the full price should you go down that purchasing route.
There seems to be this myth abroad that writers write for the sheer love of writing (we do) and that somehow, that should be sufficient reward in itself. Sadly gentle blog reader, it is not so. Food, heating, petrol and life generally impinges upon the creative impulse, bringing with it terrible thoughts of maybe throwing in the literary towel and getting a job in Asda to make ends meet.
So at the risk of someone pasting a label saying Mrs Curmudgeon on my forehead, let me reiterate: I will not hand out books to all and sundry like sweeties because right now, I can't even afford sweeties. If you want to read my work (and I'd be honoured if you did) BUY it!
I don't ask or expect my plumber/electrician nor the lovely consultant who performed my 2 cancer operations to work for free. Nor should you, dear readers, expect writers to do so either.
If you'd like to sample Diamonds&Dust A Victorian Murder Mystery, you can do so here. US readers can do so here.