I’ve been cutting down my time online so I can focus on writing. It’s worked out well though my sales have taken a noticeable hit. Today, I decided to cruise by some of the forums I used to frequent.
After talking with some or my fellow authors, some self-published and others traditionally published, it brought home the point that a number of ideas need to be discarded or at least re-thought. One of them involves the concept of debt and obligation. A writer stated that our readers don’t owe us anything. We are the ones who owe them. We owe them for their time and their money.
I never understood or agreed with that philosophy. After someone reads one of my stories, I want them to feel like they have gotten a bargain. I want my readers to feel like their time and money were well spent. Above all, I want them to enjoy reading my books and stories. If I owe my readers more then I did something wrong. They shouldn’t feel like I should pay them to read my stories or that it wasn’t worth their time.
The books I truly enjoyed are the ones where I felt like I owed the writer for sharing such a great tale and entertaining me for days. Those books are the ones I come back to. They’re the ones that sit on my bookshelf that I will reread when I’m in the mood for a certain author or story. The books where I find myself thinking the writer owes me something are the ones I don’t enjoy. They’re the books I don’t come back to. Most are forgettable or so bad that I feel the need to warn my friends about them.
If I do my job right, the only thing I should owe my readers is my profound gratitude that they decided to spend their time and money reading my books. That said, I would like to thank everyone who has taken a chance on reading one of my stories. I’ll keep writing and hopefully delivering enjoyable stories.