No, I don’t think you should read my books for free. Honestly. I don’t think that. I have a very small team of Beta readers who are allowed that. No one else.
I’ve been following a line of thought on Facebook that has my usually frighteningly low blood pressure pushed up to boiling. There is an author who received a message from one of her “fans” that in effect said, “I love your books. I think you’re fabulous.” That’s wonderful…until she cuts to the chase and tells this author, “You need to make all your books free because paying $0.99 to $2.99 is just too much, so I’ve returned them all.” The author blocked that person, reported that person to Amazon, and a petition to Amazon was started to stop the habitual returners. Said person created a new account and told the author that she shouldn’t have to pay for stories the author has in her head.
Give me a second here…I need to get up, walk around, and practice deep breathing and calming techniques. Deep breath, Lynda, deep breath…
Let me address that “fan.” Honey, in case you haven’t figured this out yet, writing is hard work. I think I can speak for every author out there when I say that. I don’t know about other authors, but I know I struggle to find each and every word when I’m writing. My internal editor is Lucifer’s hand maiden. She makes me doubt every word I put on the page. Making her shut up is next to impossible. So trust me when I say that writing (at least in my case) is not for the faint of heart.
And you want all these stories in the collective heads of authors for free? Ummmm…no. Check that. That’s not just a “no” that’s a “Oh, HELL NO!” (Pardon the vulgarity, or don’t.) I fight to find the right words for those stories in my head. Sometimes I cry when the words won’t come. I’ve lost sleep over those words, because I couldn’t leave my couple in dire straits without offering a glimmer of hope, a light at the end of the tunnel, before I closed the file for the night. I’ve written until I’m literally punch drunk because I have to share my couple’s story and the fight to find the words is real. And, you know what else, dear “fan”, I firmly believe that anything free is usually not valued. I happen to think my characters are worth a bit more than a free download. That’s why you will never see my stories for free. Period. I love my characters too much to give them away for nothing.
And, sweetheart, with a fan like you, authors really don’t need enemies.