Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Writer Wednesday: How to Annoy An Author


The other day I got a message on one of my social media accounts that began with the words "I don't mean to be rude…" Right away, I knew the message was going to be rude. The guy just told me as much. It was yet another person telling me I should give away paperbacks for free. Not ebooks. Paperbacks.

AHHHHHH!!!! I'm sure you can hear me screaming wherever you are. I REALLY wanted to respond, "I don't mean to be rude, but I think you should send me your paychecks from now on." Because seriously, that's what he's asking me to do for him. What's fair is fair, right?

Here's why this irks me so much: 
  • I give away a lot of free books, both in ebook and paperback formats. I tend to reserve paperbacks for newsletter subscribers because I feel your loyal fans should be rewarded. Giveaway opportunities are definitely there and I pay for the cost of the printed books and the postage, which is insanely high when the winner is international.
  • Whenever I have a new release, I provide interested reviewers with e-ARCs. 
  • I also have a bunch of perma free books that anyone can go ahead and download at no charge. They're all listed on my website.

So telling me I should giveaway paperbacks for free… Yeah, I'm annoyed. In the end, I deleted the message, and should I get another, I'll block the sender. I really think if you have to preface a statement with "I don't mean to be rude" you know full and well that you are absolutely being rude. Plain and simple, writers are entitled to being paid for their hard work just like everyone else. 

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

35 comments:

  1. We are often expected to give away our work, and in many ways that other professionals are not. Since you are a generous person in every way, let their rudeness just wash off of you. The rude ones wouldn't even notice. They never do.

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    1. True, they won't notice.

      It's not fair how any profession in the arts is viewed as a hobby instead of a profession. I think that's why people expect us to give freely without pay.

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  2. What did he say, why should you give away paperbacks for free? Exposure? He would recommend you to his friends? Or some other nonsense?

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    1. I should because it's the "nice" thing to do. >:(

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    2. I always wonder if these people say the same thing to a plumber or a dentist. "You should do it for me for free because it's the nice thing to do". I also wonder about the answer they get to that.

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    3. I could only imagine the response the plumber would have to that! ;)

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  3. There's a serious lack of understanding that writing is work. If you can't expect a person in another, non creative field to work for free, than why doesn't the same standard apply. Giving free books in a giveaway or to loyal fans is understandable. But just plain making it free? Not only is it rude, it's preposterous.

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    1. It is. Some people don't understand that this is a job. People don't work for free. That's volunteering, which I also do.

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  4. LOL. You should throw a book at his head. One that returns like a boomerang. Oy! The nerve of some people, eh?

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    1. LOL It felt good to delete the comment. I may have used more force than necessary to press that button. ;)

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  5. Some people haven't a clue. He definitely is rude.

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    1. What kills me is he clearly knew it was rude when he "suggested" it.

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  6. Do people walk into Barnes and Noble and ask the clerk at the counter for free paperbacks? No. So don't ask authors.

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  7. Clearly he had just happened upon you or he would already know how generous you are. Besides discounting the work we've put into the book, some people seem to think we get those paperbacks for free as well. Ugh.

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    1. Exactly! I buy those books. And no, this person didn't know me at all. It was a random stranger looking for something for free. Get a library card. I have no problem with people reading my books from the library.

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    2. That's because libraries actually BUY the books (often multiple copies) -- so they are supporting authors. Unlike the loser who emailed you who just wants a free book. (And yes, it does cost authors money to buy our own books -- even with a discount, it is not cheap. Then we often have to mail them out, and that is not cheap either!)

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    3. Yes! Libraries are great, Vicki. And we definitely do pay for our books and shipping. I wish everyone understood that.

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  8. I am reminded of my idiot ex-brother-in-law... the last time I ever saw him, he started off a "life lessons" spiel by saying, "I don't mean to degrade you..." I was supposed to take life lessons from someone who'd screwed his life up that much?

    What a dolt this person is, Kelly. Does it not occur to the bloody prat that writing is work? Moron...

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    1. I swear, when people begin sentences that way, they are just asking to be viewed as exactly what they're claiming they're not.

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  9. I guess I'll never stop wondering how stupid people can be :/ I think buying books is a way to show my interest and support authors, not some kind of unfortunate duty or something. Asking for a free copy of any book out there feels so wrong to me.

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    1. I don't know any authors who don't host giveaways, post free content, and/or provide ARCs. To not understand that we do that at our own expense and to think we should do it for everyone is really frustrating and insulting.

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  10. But...WHY? Did he have a good rationale? Is he going to somehow help you by promoting them? I'll send my free promo copies to nearby schools and libraries sometimes to encourage them to invite me for a school visit and support me...but just handing them to random readers? Why? If someone had a HUGE readership and offered to review it, I could see it, but people with huge readerships don't go around demanding free books from authors.

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  11. I totally agree, first, if you have to preface a comment with, "I don't mean to be rude" you actually do mean to be. You know that what you are about to say is wrong. Why say it? And yes, man who most likely won't read my book or review it if he does read it, I'll just give you a paperback copy of my book because I have money to just toss around like that. Ugh...people sometimes.

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  12. Ummmm NO! That guy is ridiculous. I love paperbacks myself. Which is why I buy them. See how that shocking process works?

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  13. Ha! I've never had someone ask me for a free book just because they want one, but like all authors I get requests for free books for "good causes." And yes, sometimes I provide them. But most of the time I point out to the person asking that I would have to a) buy the books myself and b) pay for the postage. I just can't afford to do that for every good cause that comes down the pike.

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    1. Yeah, I donate to good causes too, but we can't do them all or we'd be broke.

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  14. People!! Don't understand them sometimes. Or alot of times... I hope he leaves it alone and doesn't bother you anymore!

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    1. I'll block him if necessary. I love that feature. :)

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  15. I'm glad I haven't gotten messages like that. I think giveaways and free books might have built greed and encouraged a lack of consideration to authors. A promotional method that's necessary for most of us authors, yes, but which also has rather unfortunate consequence. You were right to delete the message, Kelly.

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    1. Yes, I think offering free things does tend to make people greedy.

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