Despite what you have heard, that question is foremost in the mind of every writer who hasn’t become fabulously wealthy. I have heard many deny it, yet they go out and promote their books. You will hear many claim they “need to write and don’t care if anybody buys it.” Well, the first part was probably true, but if they didn’t care about people buying it they wouldn’t keep putting it up for temporary free download. Not just a chapter or two mind you, the entire book. The on-line world has put in place systems to feed this need for recognition and/or discovery.
The on-line world has answered with hundreds of places to download books for free. Even Amazon has various “free download” promotional programs. Many of the “free” eBook sites allow authors to post just a few chapters so readers can decide if they like the work before purchasing it. There was a time when that actually worked for all involved. Most of the services handing out an author’s work for free allow them access to some kind of dashboard or report which shows them the number of downloads to feed the fantasy of having been discovered. It really is just a fantasy for 99.99%. True, when eBooks and eReaders were first entering the market such free downloads generated buzz and sold additional units. Today the only buzz they seem to generate is in the file hoarder community and they are only looking for free stuff.
Currently there are a growing number of people with the addiction. There has been a slogan attached to drug dealers, at least in the writing world if not real life, “first hit is free.” Now anyone can upload an unedited work to one or more of these on-line markets and watch the download counter climb. The rush feeds the fantasy they will be “discovered” and offered a book contract with a rich and famous sized advance. When the rush wears off they either begin spending their own money promoting or quickly create another work to post for free so they can feel the rush again.
You’ve all seen the news of formerly famous people and their downward spiral out of this world. Addiction is a brutal thing. Many of you have heard or seen news reports where some member of law enforcement comes on the screen and states “the new form of drug Y isn’t the same as it was in the 60s and 70s, it is N times deadlier.” The same has become true of the free book market. There has been a culture shift on a global scale. A growing percentage of the world population now believe they should be able to download anything they want without having to pay for it. The people making the money from this new addiction are the people selling the paraphernalia which would be the devices required to consume and or obtain the free stuff. Many vendors of such devices pitch the size of the free library you will have access to with their device.
On the other side of that ether from whence the free stuff comes is a writer who is driven to write asking “Do you know me?”
“John Smith: Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars” is one big interview. It is a transcript of a dialogue between “John Smith” (who, as the title of the book implies is the last known survivor of the Microsoft wars) and the interviewer for a prominent news organization.
Genre – Dystopian Fiction
Rating – PG
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