When I was ghostwriting, I picked up a client who had the idea that they could get rich (richER, because the client was already financially secure) throuh fiction writing. They'd heard all of the seminars and webinars and whatever-ars, and somehow, they'd come away with the idea that fiction writing was a good, fast way to make money.
I kept my mouth shut.
When the client, who was self-publishing under a pen name, announced that the novel would be released for $14.99, I flipped out.
Blessedly, the client heeded my advice and (begrudgingly) brought the final price of the novel down to .99. I was surprised to see it doing well on Amazon (the client earned back what they paid me within forty-eight hours of its release) but overall, they weren't satisfied with the results.
Our relationship eventually fell apart.
I had always wanted to do Universal Warrior for free. Put simply, I don't think it's fair to ask people to buy something they don't need from someone they don't know. Money is hard to come by these days. People need to eat. They need to feed their families and keep a roof over everyone's head. They do not need to spend money on your book just because you think it's the greatest thing ever.
People aren't going to buy from you if they don't trust you, and how can they trust you if they don't know you? People trust names like Spider-Man, Batman, and Steven Spielberg because they have a (mostly) solid reputation of delivering quality entertainment products. They can flop completely and still make money. Why? Because people trust the reputation.
Like any relationship, trust with readers is earned. It takes time to build up. And it requires a lot of patience.
I believe I'm a good storyteller, but I'm starting out. I don't think it's fair to ask people to give me money since they don't know me, much less my work.
I also think if I keep putting out good stories and getting better as I go, one day, I will be able to turn this into a full-time career.
Thanks for reading.