Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Free ebooks, are they harming the industry and devaluing authors?

 I have been amazed at how many books I can get for free. Consider a reader who says, "I only have so much time to read and why pay for a book when I can find free ones offered daily?"  This new marketing tool bothers me as an author.

I understand that some authors believe offering free books will grow their audience. After all, if customers read and enjoy their free books, they'll purchase other books from them and eventually the authors will profit. Other authors feel that when free ebooks are downloaded, it lifts their numbers and popularity, again with the hopes of greater success and profit. .

I have a hard time with this thinking. In the beginning, it seemed like an interesting idea, but with so many authors doing it now, the market  has become glutted with free ebooks. I believe it cheapens the art and hurts authors who believe their skill has monetary value and, perhaps, even a livelihood.

No doubt our first responsibility to ourselves and our readers is to study our crafting and write the best book we can. Authors spend hours and hours writing, editing, proofreading, and struggling toward publication. Why devalue all that effort?  Do artists give away their original paintings and prints in order to build their audience? Do songwriters give away their songs?
 
Perhaps, for some authors, writing is simply a much loved hobby and they want others to enjoy their creations. They have no desire make a profit on their work. Most published authors want to sell books. That's our business.  Why devalue the process of writing, regardless of the reason? Do you know of any other career field that would do this? 

I'd like to hear your views and if you have found that giving away free books has been a rewarding experience, please share.  Perhaps you can change my opinion.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Do we want to write as a hobby or to make money?

This question is so important. I believe if you want to write simply for the pleasure of writing, you are freer to express yourself in any way you please. If you desire to make it a career, then more pressure is placed upon you. You need to follow the market, see what is selling, market your stories, Tweet, Facebook, PinIt, or use what ever social networking tool you can come up with. The problem is, I just like to write, then I think of people who work in the industry as comedy writers or sitcom writers and I think, I want to make money at what I'm doing. After all, I'm spending hours every day creating or marketing yet I work mostly on my own dime. Others who work for companies to promote their product whether it's insurance, commodities, or medical supplies, someone is making money. Why can't writers be monetarily successful? Is it because we don't believe in ourselves or do we believe the market is glutted. or are there too many writers? Why does nonfiction seem to do better than fiction?  What do you think? Let's throw out some ideas on making money or not making money as a writer.

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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Welcome to my blog!


     I am really new at this so please excuse my baby steps as I venture into the blog world. I'm still working on the design of my blog, but while that is progressing, I'm ready to chat! I'd like to talk about a writer's journey as well as other topics that encourage and deserve conversation.  In most author bios, you often hear, "I have been writing for as long as I can remember..."or, "I began writing stories as a child..." Well, my story is no different, I loved creating stories and when I was younger, especially as a teenager, they were usually at spontaneous moments, without even a thought to becoming a published author.
     Today, most of us must be multi-taskers. Finding time to write is often difficult, especially when writers need to work without interference. To borrow from Virginia Woolf, we need  "a room of one's own" where we can be alone-not lonely-a place where we can delve within to create, dream, or just be.
     Computers have made out lives much easier. How many remember using a typewriter, where we needed ribbons, worried about keys that stuck, and used eraser tape, where there was no such thing as saving a draft, or copy and paste? We've come along way. Who would have expected to see bookstores close or the advent of the ebook? With ebook popularity growing, self-publishing, and sites like Wattpad, everyone can become a published author. Despite all the changes that have made it easier to realize the dream of writing for publication, the most difficulty comes in finding the time and the quiet space to create.  
     Now that my children are grown, I have a room to work in, a pretty trusty computer, and some quiet time on my hands. Yet, I too often don't make the time to go to the solitude of my creative space. Or, I may feel "stuck" on a chapter and avoid facing it for a time. Sometimes, I just feel discouraged that all my hard work doesn't appear to "pay off" after my novels receive great reviews while only a tiny check shows up in the mail on occasion. Yes, writing feeds my spirit, but like many of us, a little more cash in my purse would be really helpful. Sometimes I wonder if it isn't better to just go and get another part time job. Wallmart are you hiring?
     What hampers your creative process and where is your creative space? How do you find the time, make the time, or squeeze out a space where even a few sentences can move our stories forward? What are your greatest frustrations as a writer?  I'd love to hear from you!