Please, stop undervaluing an authors work.
“Why, whatever do you mean? I love my authors/my work.”
Then start acting like it.
*more confused bluster*
Here, let me explain…
I had a conversation the other day with my co-author Jeffrey Cook and it went something like this:
I have 2 preorders for Glass City already.
A boxed set & IATA for one and a S&S and CH for the other.
I suspect you’re going to kick ass at those.
Probably not.There are authors selling their books as low as $5
I’m sorry – I’m trying to make a profit, not put myself in the poor house.
Yeah, exactly. And there can be such a thing as underpricing. They’re not saying very much good about their work pricing it that low.
It’s stuck with me for weeks now and today it was brought back up for me. Why? Because an author friend of mine had to post a message on her Facebook timeline basically telling blogs to back off and stop being rude about not receiving ARC copies of her work when the last time she sent out ARC’s she sent out a good sized amount, like 40 or 50 and maybe saw 15 reviews from it when they were supposed to be ARC’s in exchange for review.
This left me shaking my head and thinking about it, and I mean really thinking about it.
Let’s scale back for a minute and talk about the authors for a minute.
This piss poor behavior out of bloggers is our fault. That’s right. Our fault.
When we pour our blood, sweat and tears into a book, then turn around and give that book out for free, sometimes in the hundreds of copies for free, we’re sending a message, just as Jeffrey Cook pointed out… We’re sending the message that our book isn’t worth anything or that it is worth very little.
The same as when we sell our paperbacks for as little as $5.00 at an event when me, personally, my paperbacks cost me $4.88 a copy before I get tax and shipping involved. Then there is all the labor intensive shit of paying for a flight and a hotel room and travel time and time away from my family… by the time I get to a signing, even at $15.00 a copy, there is no way I will make my money back on the trip or even come close.
We’re already putting ourselves out in a big way to connect with our fanbase, why on earth would you kick yourself in the teeth further by pretty much giving your work away for free and even taking a loss on it? That, to me, is self destructive behavior on the highest order.
With authors behaving like this, it isn’t any wonder the sense of entitlement some of you all have come up with but it needs to stop. I, as a general rule, don’t give out free copies of my work precisely because of this behavior. If I exchange an ARC for review, I expect the damn review. I have created a good. You don’t have an electrician come to your house and rewire a socket for you in exchange for a review, or for exposure. It’s rude as hell for you to expect the same from me because my profession happens to be that of a creative, artistic, persuasion.
Now I am speaking directly to the two or three bloggers who accosted my PA with rude emails over my refusal to issue ARC’s of the charity anthology, Biker Chicks. That’s right people, some bloggers out there, actually got nasty over not receiving free copies of a charity anthology designed to fight child abuse.
I’m holding those bloggers accountable for their actions in that they will never be contacted by me or mine ever again for anything having to do with my work.
Authors, I encourage you to keep track and do the same. Authors, it is us who have created this negative behavior and view of our works… it’s time for us to clean up our mess and take some corrective action.
For those authors who are afraid of ruin because of retaliative bloggers, I’m sorry you feel that way but I encourage you to really look at precisely why it is you feel that way. What’s led us, a group of professionals as a whole, to this?
I personally am getting tired of the tales of cyberbullying and craptastic behavior from both sides of the fence and choose not to partake in any of it. I write my books. I provide the service of entertaining my readers, and I ask for fair compensation for that service. I don’t charge into the stratosphere for my books, but neither do I undercut myself and my self-worth either.
Something to think about.