I find myself not watching a lot of the vlogs and how-to posts as they begin to repeat themselves. I wonder how sincere the presenter is--do they really want to help us or are they simply creating content in order to gather an email list. In today's world, email lists are the most important asset for authors and vendors of all kinds. It is why we are given 'free' things in exchange for our emails. I am told in these vlogs that these free giveaways must have value and that any author or vendor should follow up the free giveaway with more free things. It is all about providing value to the customer. The hope is that people will then buy their books or widgets for sale.
I am becoming doubtful about this business model.
It is always great to receive free things. I love that I can download Adobe for free. But if I want to manipulate pdf files, I need to pay for the professional version. We get to download crazy games for free--but if we want certain goodies within the game, we have to pay for it. We get to search the internet for free, but we have to accede to advertisements. That's life. We are all used to it.
In the world of books, I find that authors are desperately trying to create 'permafree' books on platforms to entice readers into their email / product funnel. It is a legitimate business model and I agree with it. However, many desperate authors put out shorter and shorter free books. Customers are expected to get a 'free' 30-page book. For me, that is called a pamphlet. Or, 50-100 page books that are crammed with pictures and graphs and large print. Again, the same 20-30 page pamphlet expanded to a short book length. The result: the consumer becomes wary of all free books and products. The hacks are ruining a perfectly good and respectible business model. The market is responding by becoming more savvy and more demanding.
I tried to go down this route but I quickly changed my mind (after a few weeks). I may not get the publicity and may be stuck in obscurity, but I think it is destructive for authors to not get paid for their work. It is a race to the bottom and no one wins. Consumers feel manipulated, authors feel under pressure to write-to-market, and the quality of writing deteriorates over time.
I kind of like the idea of starving artists/writers who build their portfolio of pictures/writings only to be discovered by accident or after they die. Art is about something bigger than money. If you want to be entertained, great, there are lots of diversions available. Over 700,000 books are published every year in the United States alone. Another interesting fact: last year, 2.7 billion books were sold in the US. That seems like a lot but isn't when you realise that this includes all of the books ever published in the US. Most authors will not sell more than a handful of their books.
On that happy note, and conscious that I try to keep these ramblings brief, I would like to offer all of you a free e-book of your choice. I know, it seems to go against what I have just said but, hey, that's life. I want to say thank you to all of you for reading by blogs and vlogs (you tube ramblings). All I ask is for you to subscribe and email me the ebook you would like to receive. I will need your email details and the type of book you want (.mobi files for kindles; epubs for most others). Titles to choose from include: Revelation, Faust, Art of Wealth, Conspiracy (Man on the Run Volume III), Chaos (Man on the Run Volume IV).
At the very least, it gives you an early Christmas gift. I am happy for you to pass it on to your friends and family. Now you also know why anyone gives you anything for free: because they value your loyalty and want your contact details!
This offer is good until December 20, 2016. (That's when I turn off my computer until the New Year.)