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Abandoned by user

RIP Booklikes.

The amount of wilful ignorance being displayed by some, a few authors over the kickstarter incident

is making me want to lose my mind.


Here is a list of things that no one anywhere ever said (at least to my knowledge):


1. No one said that Stacey Jay was committing a crime or breaking kickstarter rules. It is possible to have a negative opinion of something that is neither a crime nor against rules.


2. No one suggested that she was a thief or a bad person. It is possible to disagree with a business model without believing that the person who has proposed the model is trying to steal my money or lacks honesty or integrity.


3. No one ever (EVER, EVER, EVER) said that all books should be free. Or that real writers exist on a higher plane above the rest of us where they have transcended the need for stuff like food and housing.


So, let me respond as follows:



Yes, I agree. I absolutely pay for the books I consume! I don't read fan fic! Yippee, we are on the same page. Except that no one ever said that authors shouldn't get paid for their books. Absolutely, they should get paid for their books WHEN I BUY THEIR BOOKS AFTER THEY HAVE PUBLISHED THEM!



Again, the logic failures are simply astounding. No one has suggested or is suggesting that authors should starve, romantically or otherwise. People are suggesting that perhaps a business model that expects donors to fund mortgages before the book is naught but a gleam in the author's eye is questionable. 



Wait? Where were the words "arrogant" or "greedy" used by anyone, leaving aside the question of the sex of the person at issue.


Here is the actual deal. Publishing is in disarray. I totally get that. And you know why publishing is in disarray? Because of the market. Because barriers to entry have all but disappeared. Because it is now possible for ANYONE to publish ANYTHING at ANYTIME and call it a book and potentially make money off of it. Your market is glutted. This is what happens when markets are glutted. The product loses value.


This is not the reader's fault.


So, is it harder now than ever before to be a full-time author and make a living at it? Yes. But the flip side of that is that it is also easier now than ever before to be a full-time author and make a living at it. Either way, the risk is yours, author. Take it, love it, reap the benefits of it. Or fail. On your own.


But when you start trying to establishing an eco-system where you shove the risk off of yourselves and onto others, while retaining all of the rewards, then what you are going to get is pushback. If you want to brazen it out, go right ahead. See if you can get your kickstarter funded to pay you whatever you want. Hell, if you can convince your fans that you require a personal watercraft in order to write your next thriller, knock yourself out.


But when readers balk, it isn't because they don't want to pay you for your books, or because they are greedy and they want free stuff, or they don't value your writing.


It is because the standard agreement between author and reader is: you write and publish it, I buy it for free market value. You bear the risk of failure, not me. And if you want to change that agreement to benefit you, and only you, you can expect that I will object.




P.S.: I had a few very pleasant discussions with authors on this subject. Those discussions aren't what this post is about.