The ‘Taylor Swift’ Factor and why it has empowered me – No More Free Books

I was heartened when I listened to the report on singer Taylor Swift’s stand on royalties for singers against Apple and thrilled that they have capitulated.

I am neither famous, nor do I have the same following as Taylor Swift – I apologize but I hadn’t heard of her until today, but I quite like the sound of her music. I vowed to keep up to date with the music world but since I no longer teach 16 to 19 year olds, that promise has slipped somewhat, and I find my taste going backwards rather than forwards – bring back The Zombies I say, or Fleetwood Mac.

I digress. I received a royalty report from KDP yesterday and out of the 112 downloads over 90 of them were free. It was my own decision to have two free promotion days, encouraged by the hard working Indie Lit Fest 2016 committee, and I was extremely happy with the publicity and to be involved, but the book in question, ‘Ancasta Guide me Swiftly Home’ took two years to research and write and another six months to bring it out into print in a professional manner – including a custom made book cover and paying several hundreds for an edit and proof read.

I have made a decision.

You don’t have a plumber popping by and saying, ‘Oh, you can have this service on me,’ or a car insurance firm saying, ‘You’ve been such a loyal customer, you can have the next year on the house.’ No!

Our work has a value and if we believe in it I feel we should make a stand.

From now onwards I will have promotional days for my novels when I reduce them, to say 99p – I may write some related short stories which I will give away for free too, but I will never give away books – except for the original promotional purposes, reviews, to thank those people who have supported me so much along the way or for a competition or special giveaway when a signed novel is lovingly posted to the prize winner.

Who is joining me in this writer’s revolution? (or can convince me otherwise?)

Do you know, now that I’ve said this I feel soooo much better.

What about you? What do you think?


Filed under Marketing your novel, Writing

4 responses to “The ‘Taylor Swift’ Factor and why it has empowered me – No More Free Books

  1. Me! I will put the books for free for a few days but that’s it. After that, only if people subscribe to my mailing list.

    • That sounds like a good strategy. I hope it works for you. Mailing lists are something I should really do more to work on. I find face to face events the most rewarding and enjoyable. good luck with your writing.

  2. Laura Read

    I agree with you – people shouldn’t give their work away for nothing. The Taylor Swift vs Apple story is very inspiring

    • I think authors have been their own worst enemies in some ways. Bypassing amazon in the early days to give their book away for free to force amazon to price match in order to rise up the ranks of sales. The company was only responding to author demands and so they cannot be blamed. I always felt uncomfortable with the notion of free books. A fried bought three paperbacks in a supermarket for a £1 each the other day. ‘I never pay more than £1 for a novel,’ she said. It gave me a jolt – it is totally unsustainable and that it why our beloved bookshops are going under. It makes me so sad. Hearing the Taylor Swift Story is so inspiring Laura. Are we, authors, listening?

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