This week I’m going to finish up giving serious answers to the questions in my humorous post The Top 10 Things People Say to Writers, and How You Should Respond. So when you’re tired of being snarky this will help you give some constructive–and helpful–answers to your non-writer friends and family.
On to number seven!
7. Can you give me a free copy of your book?
When you have a book published, you’re probably going to find yourself with a mix of people in your life: people who want to support you and buy it right away, and people who expect you to just give them a copy. Of course, you probably will give some people your book. When my first book came out, I gave away about ten paperback copies (which I had purchased myself, at full price) to people who loved, supported, and stood by me for most of my writing career, and just people I really love in general. But these were also people who would never have their hand out expecting a free copy, either. They were delighted and humbled I gave it to them.
The truth is most publishers are not going to give you a free box of your books to give away, and they might not even give you a discount on buying your own books. Of course if you’re a huge, bestselling author with a big publishing house, you will get free copies to give away or use for promo, but that’s because the publishing house is already making their money back on you and more. Smaller publishing houses don’t have the money to print off a whole bunch of your books and give them to you to distribute, especially if you’re an unknown small fry. Yes, you do get free e-copies to give away, and giving away free e-copies isn’t even that difficult to do on your own. But trust me when I say people who want you to give them a free book usually don’t mean on their Kindle.
My humorous answer on the list: Sure thing. My publisher sends me crates and crates of books to give to people for free and I don’t want to make any money off my book anyway, so here you go.
A more constructive answer: I would love to give copies of my book away to everyone I know. The unfortunate truth is, I don’t have free copies to give away. If I want copies of my book I actually have to pay for them, and I might not even get a discount. I can show you where you can buy my book if you’d like, and I’d be happy to let you know when it goes on sale.
Have you ever had someone in your life expect a free copy of your book?
By the way, if you’re in the U.S. HAPPY ECLIPSE DAY! I got my glasses all ready and I can’t wait to watch!