The FREEdom of Art #MondayBlogs

It all started with this status on Elizabeth York’s Facebook page.

Wow! I am completely speechless. I had seen one of the books purchased were returned and then I noticed more… Didn’t think anything of it until I got a email. I don’t even know how to reply.

Hang on to your shorts, people. The email is a doozy.

“Ms. York, I wanted to tell you that your books are above par and you should be proud. I was able to read them all, but sadly I returned them all because they range from $0.99 to $2.99 and that is just too much for me to spend on a ebook. Can you please make all your books in the future free so that I do not have to return it?”

ewtfe

Um, okay. I had to read it a few times to really let it sink in that she was admitting to stealing from both Amazon and the author. As you can imagine this post went crazy and was shared by authors, readers and bloggers. It’s almost too crazy. Could there really be people like this out there? Baffles the mind.

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But wait, there’s more.

Another post from Elizabeth shows up.

Yesterday I had to walk away from Facebook. I had to take a deep breath, count to ten, and then turn it off. You all rallied behind the injustice and some even told me of the same message, but I had to shake it off my own way.

I walked a line of whether or not to post what she had sent me because I have been yelled at previously for screenshotting people, but at the same time I felt what she had said and done was going to happen again and again. Sadly, she admitted it has.

I blocked her, but had a feeling she wasn’t gone when a friend request hit with a similar name, and then I got the following message. Due to the fact that Amazon is “investigating” the incident I will not disclose her name, but because she is someone’s beta I won’t hide the profile picture.

I seriously doubt this person will ever learn a lesson the easy way, or come down off her high horse, but I am not going to let her drag me down anymore.

 Here are screen shots of the follow up message from the “give me free books” emailer. Foul language warning. 

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Cover art, editing, interior formatting for ebook, interior formatting for print,  copyright, and marketing are services I pay for every time I publish a book. It ain’t cheap. To break even on expenses I have to sell close to 500 copies The lower the price of the ebook, the higher the number of books I need to sell. This is to BREAK EVEN.

This doesn’t factor in the time I spent working on it which is several hours EVERY day. Sometimes I miss meals, I lose sleep, I can’t enjoy much leisure time, and my family doesn’t get my full attention. I can’t get this time back no matter how many copies I sell.

Putting out a polished product, the best I can deliver to readers, is the goal so I am happy to pay it in money and time. It’s not really a hardship because I enjoy my readers. They give me the greatest reward with their love of my characters and the world I am building. I juggle being a mom, wife, and author but I cannot imagine doing anything else.

Would you go to the theater and not pay? Do you walk up to the redbox kiosk and yell at it to spit out a DVD without putting any cash in? No. Because services are paid for. Entertainment is a service and it deserves to be paid for so you can enjoy it. I pay the same way everyone else does for my own escape from reality.

To close, I’d like to share this picture someone posted to Elizabeth. I feel like it perfectly sums up the situation at hand.

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