Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Even writers have to throw a punch

Ebooks are all the rage but ubiquity should not be a cover for getting free downloads. The Internet enjoys free reign because it is new and this has allowed it to keep one step ahead of the great fist of restraint. But authors and everyone else with a book knows that what happened to the music business is happening to publishing. Just because you can get a book on the Internet does not mean we should just go oh well anybody can download anything they want now. They can't.

The IPOD motif of books has not arrived. The Kindle while  very good is a poor substitute for the book. It just isnt the same. Sorry. But reading from a screen is reading from a screen. Now as an author who wants exposure I don't particularly mind the free downloads. The writers first goal after getting published is to get read and availability is a big deal. But right behind that you wouldn't mind getting paid either. This is hard stuff for writers who are used to existing on nothing. Average income for writers...nine grand. Och.

So you have these creatures who are used to getting screwed over  and making very little. Now they are going to have to stand up and say don't download my book for free! Thank God for the Authors Guild. They do most of the heavy lifting but individual writers have to decide if they want their books disseminated for free or not. Again you are torn between getting read and getting paid. The big hitters not so much.

But when you come down to it, getting paid legitimizes the work. You have to give value to your work first and hopefully the public will follow. These are changing times, but writers are used to that. The difference now is that people who are used to working alone will have to stand up for themselves and their work and get involved  or risk being pushed around yet again.

Even writers have to learn to throw a punch.

Books by William Hazelgrove