‘There’s Something Badly Wrong’
For those following the industry! the industry! in its digital melodrama, tossing books to the crowd free is not new.
But the question of whether today’s plethora of free offers may devalue books and/or authors in readers’ minds is not going away as easily as some folks wish it would.
The London-based author Roz Morris (both traditionally and self- published) became concerned enough about the issue this week to write Free book giveaways – when do they work? When don’t they? In it, she writes:
I’ll admit that I worry we give away our work too easily. If we create a culture where a book costs less than a sheet of gift-wrap and a greetings card, there’s something badly wrong. An ebook may not have material form, but it does give you more time and experience than something you glance at and throw away. And tellingly, the people who get cross with me for speaking out are the ones who say they refuse to spend more than a couple of dollars on a book, or berate me for not putting my books into Kindle Unlimited.
Indeed, the question of her headline — when do free books work? — is not the interesting part.