It has come to my notice that, all of a sudden, my books are being read. But I’m not earning anything from them, because they are being ‘borrowed’ or read for free, courtesy of Amazon.
I’m not sure how I feel about this; on the one hand I’m excited by the idea that there is a sudden interest in my writing. On the other hand, I’m miffed that I’m not receiving the very small amount that I get when one of my books sell. When I think of all the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into them, (well, ok, perhaps that’s overdoing it a bit; there has been no blood involved in the production of these books! Perhaps I should have said ‘sweat, tears, arguments and sheer bloddy-mindedness) not to mention a lot of nagging and encouragement on the part of certain friends who finally convinced me they were good enough to put out there, it doesn’t really seem all that fair really. Another annoying thing is, although I can find out which books have sold, I can’t find out what books are being borrowed or downloaded for free.
However, as I have constantly told my children, life isn’t fair, is it? And some people are never satisfied – me included. I wanted people to read my books, didn’t I? Now they are – I’ve got what I wanted. People unknown to me are reading my work. Now, the thought of that makes me go weak at the knees – hang on a mo while I go sit down – and I tremble and wonder what they think. It is one thing to have people you know reading your stuff and telling you how wonderful you are to have written them. Quite a different kettle o’ fish now that my babies are out there and unprotected and I wonder if they are frightened, are they coping without me? Are they behaving well and giving the right impression? What impression do I want them to give? Why, that I’m worth a bit of attention as a writer and hopefully my books will not find themselves being consigned to the big, blue cyberspace yonder, having been rejected by these unknown readers.
Are there any advantages to allowing my books to be read for free? The only things I can think of is they might possibly bring in a favourable star or two to Amazon’s recommendations (although that system is in doubt, see Seumas’s blog the other day) also that the reader might want to read more, perhaps? That would be very good – unless of course, they get the others for free as well…