Great post by Jody Hedlund:
However, in all of the book giveaways, let’s not forget ONE important thing: We can’t stop buying books. Writers and readers alike can’t become so enamored with getting free books – either for reviewing, endorsing, on our e-readers, or just because we can — that we forget to actually purchase books. Most people don’t understand exactly how underpaid the majority of authors really are. Sure, there are the couple dozen authors who are making millions. But the rest of the masses of talented authors are not even making minimum wages on their books.
I can’t emphasise enough how important it is for you to buy books and buy them regularly. I know a lot of readers and writers are being told that free is great and flogging books for less than a cup of coffee on Amazon is the way to go. As in other industries, consumers these days want something for nothing. Like it’s their right. The way things are.
And that’s all good and well, but as Jody says in the quote above, for every bestselling author raking in the money, there are thousands more who are barely able to get by. Most writers I know, and believe it or not I do know a few with relatively handsome publishing contracts, are not rolling in cash. They all have other jobs that allow them to write and sustain their career.
That said, it’s not just authors and books that have been published and found their way to market that rely on you (me, us) spending money. It may be that you are rather pleased that the publishing industry is on its arse – many writers are – but chief executives aren’t the only ones who are feeling the pain.
Spare a thought for those brilliant but powerless writers who either don’t want to self-publish or don’t have the technical skills to build a sodding audience. The fact is, great books are going unpublished because no one has the money – or permission – to take risks. Investments in talent are not being made. And that’s a huge shame.