Monday, March 11, 2013

Free Book Myth

This last week I received an e-mail from a woman requesting a print copy of one of my books...since she was such a loyal fan of my work. I will say right now--I don't send out print or e-copies of my books. In rare instances, I offer a print copy as a prize for a contest. In even rarer circumstances, I give free print copies to family and close friends.

There seems to be a false idea about the publishing industry. Some folks believe authors receive a lot of free copies of their books from the publisher. That's just not so. When a new book is released in print, the author may receive a few copies...maybe five. And that's it.

All additional copies are purchased by the author. A very limited number of publishers allow the author to purchase them at a discount. Most publishers offer no discount to the author so they pay FULL PRICE.

So when a reader receives a print book from an author, that author has PAID for that book. There are no free books. Most of my print books cost fifteen dollars per book. If I then pay to mail it to a contest winner, my total investment in that reader is around twenty dollars.

There are no free books. If you receive a print book as a prize, treasure it. The author has invested real money to provide that book. And if you enjoyed the story, make sure you tell all your friends about it!



  1. So true. There's so many myth's about authors. :)

  2. "There's so many myth's about authors."

    Mostly created by authors...but, free books? Fine, give me something of yours you worked on for hours and endured endless edits/criticism over and then you may have a free books when you have paid in kind. Hard lined? Just reality baby. No author is doing it for free.

    1. Do you know? I've never understood that "trading books" with another author? The one exception I make is when I autograph a book for a person I've mentioned in the dedication...Otherwise, what is the point?

  3. I recently read about a well-known romance author who, thanks to her publisher, was able to offer 200 free books to readers who would be willing to post a review. First off, I disagree with the overt quid-pro-quo here. Second how many of us have a publisher who's willing to give us 200 free copies to give away? Duh. We wish! Almost every book I give away for free I've paid for - at full price.

  4. I read about that, Julia. And I too have problems with the trade-off for reviews. Strange old world we work in.