If You’re Good At Something, Never Do It For Free

JokerThat’s the Joker, right there, and under ordinary circumstances he isn’t someone I’d be quoting. But it fits, so I’m using it, and I’m directing you to go to Kristen Lamb’s blog and read her posts, all of them, but especially this one.

Here’s a snippet:

Our consumers have a lot of power. No I don’t feel anyone owes me anything I haven’t earned. Never said that. I said I am tired of people acting like I should be grateful for “exposure” en lieu of being paid and if I say anything I’m a whiny jerk.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with writers asking for the sale. All people can do is say….no.

When I was in sales, the single largest reason most salespeople failed to make a sale? Never asked for it.


But what are people saying to writers?

It is okay to have “exposure”…just don’t ask for the sale. Just be happy being exposed.

Huh? WTH? NO!

What good is a used bookstore for exposure if I then don’t tell people, Hey, if you find a book of mine there and you really love it, please buy my next one NEW? It’s how I get PAID.

OMG! How could you? You broke the cardinal rule of being a writer!

I will starve eating exposure sandwiches, okay?

Read the whole thing. And the original thing.

Couldn’t have said it better myself. I realize that I am very fortunate to have four jobs that together keep food on the table. I get paid to write. That’s unusual and awe-inducing for me. This post is essentially aimed not at my readers, many of whom pay me for what I do, but at all of us as readers of other people’s fiction (and nonfiction).

I buy mass quantities of used books. I also buy new, on purpose, when I find an author that really does brilliant work. If you’re looking for some of those kinds of authors, here’s a YA author you’ll like, and another YA author you’ll fall in love with, and an author of fantasy noir, and an author of high fantasy, I guess, and a sci-fi author I bow in awe of. Buy their stuff.

Heck, buy my stuff while you’re at it. You’re going to buy books. Buy our books. Please.

Or don’t. That’s okay, too. And if YOU have a book you want people to buy, link that sucker in the comments.

I buy books, too. And you’ve never met anyone more loyal.

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