If You Read Books, You Buy Books

Marie here.

Fair warning, this is a rant post.

As an author, I am on social media constantly to try and connect with readers. As expected, there are a ton of, how shall we say, intellectually challenged people on these sites, as well as those who can only think of their own needs and problems. Enter freebie-chick.

Freebie-chick is there for the giveaways, for the ARCs, for any free books or book related materials she (or he, men are not exempt) can get her hands on. Do not confuse freebie-chick with an actual fan who enters giveaways for a free book or asks for an ARC of an upcoming release, but who will read it, talk about it, and probably review it. Freebie-chick is there because she is too good to pay for books and has no time to leave reviews or support the author in any other way. She “can’t afford” to pay for books. She grabs her free stuff and is never seen or heard from again, at least by that author. And here is where we get to today’s real topic.

I am sick and tired of bloggers, reviewers, and supposed book lovers who complain about the price of books. Honestly, it is sickening. Some of these supposed book-aholics complain that the arts aren’t a real job so authors should not expect to make real money from it. Wow. I can’t even with that one. Should I bother to point out the movie industry? Television? Music? Acting, singing, painting, and writing are all under that same umbrella, babe, and I don’t see anyone telling Chris Hemsworth that he shouldn’t expect to be paid, he should do it for the love of acting, movie tickets are too expensive, blah, blah, blah. Of all times, now is when people should really appreciate the arts. Now, when we shouldn’t be going out and socializing, our books, TV shows, movies, art, and music get us through.

Then there are those that claim that e-books in particular should not cost so much. It isn’t as good as a paperback, it isn’t a “real” thing you can hold in your hand so why charge so much? Well, online video games and mobile games aren’t “real” either, sweetheart, but you pay for those without issue. And how are e-books considered so expensive? Freebie-chick gets her hair cut at least once a month, paying at least $10 and leaving a tip. A tip, people. But she also downloads a 99¢ e-book, reads it, and returns it for her money back.

I’m not even joking, this has happened to me on more than one occasion. Because those ninety-nine pennies broke someone’s bank, apparently.

$5.99 is not too much to pay for an e-book and honestly, most authors charge less than that. Authors put serious time and money into our work. We pour our hearts and souls into our stories. Why should we have to give that away for free just because some people feel entitled to free stuff? NO. We should be paid for our efforts.

That isn’t to say I haven’t had my share of free books given to me by author friends. Or that I haven’t grabbed some 99¢ books when my funds are low. We all fall on hard times. Some weeks we can’t go order that newly released paperback that we have been looking forward to reading. The thing is, I read these books, review them, and talk about them to friends or other authors. I might wait a few weeks until I can afford that new book by a favorite author. Or, I can just read one of the dozens of books on my device because I’m a hoarder and can never seem to have less than a hundred books on that thing. I might grab a free book, but if it is the first in a series, I will buy the rest. I will support that author. Because I am a real book lover.

I no longer do giveaway packages with other authors or give my books away for free if asked by a reader (other than ARCs to trusted friends). I take pride in my work. I spend money on my work to get it looking its best. Book covers and editors are not free and they shouldn’t be, either. The hours I spend on each story are not to be taken lightly.  That is time away from my family, my friends, my hobbies. You will not cheapen that!

In conclusion, if you claim to be a book lover, but refuse to pay for books, or only buy 99¢ books (and return them) because “How dare we charge so much!” then you are not a true book lover. If you loved the story so much, then you have to have at least an ounce of respect for the author. Refusing to pay for their work is as good as a slap in the face and I for one will not take that lying down.

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