First of all, let me say this: Most readers are super-fucking awesome!
If you're one of the super-fucking awesome readers who buys our books, borrows them from the library, and/or tells their friends how great our books are, THIS POST IS NOT AIMED AT YOU.
Because if you're a super-fucking awesome reader, you didn't do any of the shit I'm about to vomit rant over.
Last Monday, writer M.A. Kropp wrote about a writer friend who had a very weird experience with an e-mail she received from a reader. I've learned about people trying to find my books for free, but I've never had someone lecture me about how I charge too much (by the way, most retailers insist on a minimum of $0.99 for e-books) and demand I give them books for free to my face. But that's exactly what an alleged fan/entitled nutcase did to Kropp's friend.
Writing is my full-time job, folks. How would you feel if you were paid on Friday, but then your employer sucked the money out of your bank account on Monday because he felt you didn't deserve to be paid for your work and you should do it for free? And this doesn't happen once. It happens every fucking week. Would you stay with that employer?
Kropp's friend blocked the reader. And apparently, the retailer discovered the abuse of their return policy because the entitled nutcase sent another e-mail berating Kropp's friend for blocking her and forcing her to open another account.
Do accidental one-clicks or double gifting happen? Of course. That's not what Kropp or Rosalie Stanton, who discusses the issue from a part-time writer's standpoint, mean.
It's when someone buys the first book in a series on Monday and returns it on Tuesday. Because, you see, if the book wasn't to the reader's taste and they didn't finish it, we totally understand. It's when the reader buys Book 2 on Tuesday and returns it on Wednesday, buys Book 3 on Wednesday and returns it on Thursday, etc. that we know the reader is simply gaming a retailer's system RATHER THAN GOING TO THE FUCKING LIBRARY!
Yes, that's right. Libraries carry our books, even indies, and you can always put in a request to your librarian for an inter-library loan.
And guess what? It's especially easy with e-books to keep track of serial returners. Granted, retailers like Amazon will let you do returns hundreds of times before they shut down your account, but they will do it eventually.
The really sad part is that there are all sorts of book giveaways ALL THE FUCKING TIME if a reader wants free books.
- Sign up for a writer's newsletter
- Sign up for daily newsletters like BookBub, eBook Soda, Book Gorilla, or Book Barbarian.
- Check Goodreads giveaways.
- Sign up to be a reviewer at a book review blogging website
- End of the day deals at garage sales and library sales
What you don't do is send nasty e-mails to a writer berating them for trying to make a living. Especially if you want more books to read.
And if you're a super-fucking awesome reader, I hope you continue to be one!