Backyard Feeder

Backyard Feeder
photo taken through porch screen

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What Should be Given, What Sold?

Someone just paid $10 for my ebook yesterday. I find it incredible that people are willing to pay for what I write. I have been paid for writing before, but it has always been a website or magazine publisher--not a real person.

I think I'm figuring out what my procrastination is about. What if I publish the book in paperback and nobody buys it? What if it isn't worth the price? What if it's worth the price, but nobody knows it exists? Can I handle the rejection? If just one person reads the book and is helped, isn't that worth the risk? We're not talking about printing 1,000 copies--well I am, but not right away. We're talking about print-on-demand, the no-financial-risk form of book publishing.

I set the ebook up as a sort of trial run. It doesn't cost anything, doesn't require proof copies, no WORD to pdf glitches.I wanted to know if anyone would actually find it and want to pay money for it. It's been up for almost a month now--not terribly wrong in real time, an eternity online, and I've had over 50 people download at least part of the book, nearly 20 went on to get the whole book. Lots of free copies, but that's actually a good thing. Two people chose their own price and bought a copy for real money. I'm guessing that with my forum posts and people who have read the book telling others, that this will keep happening.

I do like the idea that if someone needs the information and doesn't have the money, that they can download the book free and not feel like they are stealing or anything. I think I may be better able to justify selling the paperback copies--which cost real money to produce--as long as there is a free alternative.

I still wonder why I feel vaguely guilty about accepting money for something that is helping people, but I think that as long as I am not limiting my helping to people who are willing and able to pay I can probably justify it to myself.

I hate being the designated sane one--it is SO NOT ME.