Once upon a time before eBooks and audio books, I became a book hoarder. I loved the excitement of my trips to the bookstore, organizing the treasures I came home with, and of course, I what I enjoyed most, was reading. I categorized my books too, those books that made it to the eye level shelves after the first read deserved more than one read.
Oh, the good old days :)
Today, when millions of eBooks are published, the new kind of book hoarders are emerging. With so many books on the market, the authors are giving out complimentary books for review in order to spread the word about their books. The more reviews are posted on a book, the higher it gets on the book rank.
The new kind of book hoarders download the complimentary books, and then, sadly, most of them forget about it. They get caught up in the frenzy of getting more and more books. They attend events, enter giveaways and some even go as far as messaging the authors asking for a free book.
It happened a few times when I looked at the winners list in my events ad noticed that I sent them complimentary copies for review already. They never posted reviews, so I messaged them.
One of my conversations with a reader after my event where I offered complimentary copies of my book:
"Hi, you are one of the winners of the complimentary book for review. However, your name is on my list showing that you received my magical realism book when I did a giveaway contest on my website two months ago."
“Oh, yeah! I just checked my Kindle and have your book, but I read only romance and erotica. I don't like fantasy and such. LOL”
"I understand, but I'm just curious why you accepted my book when I sent it to you as a gift? The giveaway was clear that the complimentary book was for an honest review."
"Hehe, because it was free."
I wanted to say a few things, but then I changed my mind and didn't send a reply.
I think the book hoarders today don’t value books as much as the book hoarders did when only print books were available. They scroll through their ereader’s library and see the hundreds of books they gathered, but the value is not there. It is a row of books that they might never read because they’re busy getting more. They download books without selecting the ones they will actually read, just because they can get the books for "free".
Books are not free.
To write a book it takes months and even years when the author spends countless hours writing, re-writing and polishing the story to perfection.
To publish a book takes a lot of work and money:
The author or publisher pays for editing, book cover, formatting, ISBN, copyright registration and so on. Then comes the hard part, promotion.
When the author or publisher gives out complimentary books, those books are not free. A lot of money went into producing the book that the new kind of book hoarder looks at as "just a free book on my Kindle"
Readers, if you receive a complimentary book for an honest review, please accept the book only if you like the genre, you will read the book and post your honest review. Thank you!