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Now, authors... They publish their work in part to make money, and in part to earn recognition. (If they want neither, they get a nice little journal that they write in and then lock up somewhere.) For those who put their writing out there where you can see it, they're doing it to connect with you, the reader.
This is why I say: If you're going to support that author, you have to put your money where your mouth is. If they've entertained you, then they've earned it.
In some ways, I wonder if the model for paying writers could be broadened. Maybe we need virtual tip jars, so that if you get a free book or buy a 99 cent ebook and are pleasantly surprised by how much you enjoyed the read, you could go back and give the writer something extra. The same way you tip the house band at the bar. You know what I mean?
In the current system, that doesn't happen. We just pay our 99 cents (or get the free book), and mosey along our way. Still, there are a couple of simple things you can do to make it worthwhile for authors to offer their books for low prices or even for free sometimes online. It just takes mindfulness...thinking about it...to make it happen.
Personally, when I get a free ebook, I usually review it on this blog or do an author interview. It may take me a while to get to it, but I do it, because at least it gives the author a little free advertising in return for the opportunity to read their book for no charge. A little quid pro quo is only fair.
My blog is a high priority for me. A review for another author on Amazon or Goodreads is less so. But I am trying to make time once every month or two to give a quick two-sentence review on those websites with a link back to my blog review, because reviews can help browsing readers make a decision to buy. And if someone else buys the book, then it helps the author, doesn't it? Easy enough.
Another way to help authors is to give their books as gifts at holidays and birthday time. Especially if you particularly like a book you've read. I may not need a copy of a book I've already read for free, but my mother might like a copy for her Kindle, and at 99 cents or 1.99 or 2.99, I can buy her several items, much cheaper than a trip to the bookstore. Gift-giving is a good way to justify spending money on book you've already read.
I'd even bet that there are ways to support authors financially in ways that I haven't even thought of. I'll talk about one of those out-of-the-box approaches next week. But I'd love to hear from you about ways you think we can get money into the hands of the people who have entertained us with their written words.
(We'll leave supporting hard copy, paper books for another time and another series. I'm not sure how to make that happen in this brave new world of ebooks, but it's not a discussion for this blog post today.)
For part 1 of the series, go here.
For part 2 of the series, go here.
Copyright (c) 2012 by M.A. Chiappetta. All rights reserved.