This post, by Dan H. Kind, originally appeared on his Read Write Myth Dharma blog on 3/2/12.
Yeah, sure, I’m a writer. But before that I was a reader, which I still am to this day. It’s my hobby. It’s my escape. It’s my Water of Life. And I wanted to tell you what KDP Select has done for me as a lifelong lover of stories told through the written word.
Two months ago my Kindle Touch was nice and light, filled with stuff I’d bought with hard-earned cash and really, really wanted to read, even if I paid a mere dollar for it. These days it’s a bloated, word-filled beast I drag around the house with me like an old wooden leg.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read and enjoyed some of the free offerings I’ve picked up recently, and gone and purchased other stuff by that author (Ann Charles, notably, on the list below, who I probably wouldn’t have picked up otherwise, cozy mysteries not usually being my thing, but the book was fun and well-written). Those with one book . . . give me more! And I’ll buy it next time (which is what people did a distant few months ago to get books). I will gladly pay for a book from an author I know will entertain me for a few hours. I don’t think this recent glut of free has changed that attitude in many readers.
Below are the books I’ve downloaded onto my Kindle since January 1st. The books in boldface I purchased; the books with links I’ve read. I only download stuff that I’m pretty damn sure I’ll like, even if it’s free.
If my count is correct, [my chart contains] 105 total downloads since January 1st.
22 paid, 83 free.
Of the 22 paid, I’ve so far read 7, just started on the 8th.
Of the 83 free, I’ve read 10—and 5 of those are short stories by the same author, Christian Cantrell, which I very much enjoyed and whose new offerings I will be purchasing from now on.
And the percentage winner is . . . the paid stuff, hands-down.
It used to be at least fairly easy to pick out what I’d be reading next. Now, I’m drowning in a sea of free. And I’m a bibliophile. I usually devour a novel in a day or three. Or four. Or seven. It all depends. But it might take me years to get to some of this stuff, especially since there are many authors, both established and indie, who if they come out with a new book I’ve gotta dash out as soon as payday hits and buy it and read it and funk everything else that’s been sitting on the bookshelf, physical or digital, for however long.