Monday, February 16, 2015
By Vicki Delany
First, before my rant of the week:
Are you in the Raleigh/Durham area of North Carolina? If so, why not come out to one of my many events there this week and next. I’ll be with fellow-TypeM-er Donis Casey, and Canada’s Mystery Maven, Linda Wiken (Erika Chase). It will be sort of a meeting of the mavens as North Carolina Mystery Maven Molly Weston will be our guide.
I understand the weather in North Carolina is not looking promising, so I will probably be packing this hat.
The full schedule of events can be found at http://vickidelany.blogspot.comhttp://vickidelany.blogspot.com
How much is one of my books worth to you? How much do you think my time is worth to me?
I’m hoping you’ve answered, more than 0.
But not everyone seems to think so.
I was approached this week by a profit-making corporation that promotes it’s product by doing public events. And they charge a healthy sum for an evening of… participating in their promotion (food and drink is involved). They invited me to a book-club type evening and the participants would be discussing one of my books.
Naturally, I said yes. Sounds like a great opportunity.
They replied and said they couldn’t afford to pay me. (Not good, but I will do book clubs without charging a fee. Off topic, but I do not do workshops for free, other than schools). And, then they said I would be expected to GIVE each participant the book in plenty of time for them to read it before the meeting.
Uh, no. I was being asked to not only give up an evening of my time, appear in public to entertain people who have paid to attend the event, but donate a substantial number of my own books to boot. I would in short, counting my time, be out several hundred dollars.
So I said no. I suggested they contact my publisher to perhaps come up with a deal or a discount, but I am not giving them all the books so they can charge people to come to their event.
I said that as a writer I make my living by SELLING books.
And what do you suppose the reply was to that? Oh, we didn’t realize you were self-published.
Huh? In case anyone out there doesn’t know, a standard publishing contact gives the author a small number of books to use for promotion, send to reviewers, etc. After that the author pays a slightly discounted rate for each book. So each book they wanted me to give to their participants would have cost me 50-60% of the cover price.
Frankly, I don’t know what we can do to about this sort of thing. Musicians say the same thing: The value of their time and of their product is seen as nothing.
It’s not helped by the number of books that are given away on Amazon etc. for free or for .99c. A whole lot of people out there now believe that the value of a book is $0.00, certainly no more than $0.99.
If you come to meet Donis, Linda, and me in North Carolina I can guarantee you will get a lot more than $0.00 worth of entertainment.
Posted by Vicki Delany at 12:00 am