Regarding Free Ebooks

If all a reader wants is “something to read” and anything is as good as anything else, there are 36,000 titles for free, legally, on Project Gutenberg. Assuming that 1% of those titles were of interest to the reader, and assuming that they read one book a week (a voracious appetite by modern American standards) then there should be enough for at least 360 weeks of reading there. Given that roughly 80 books are uploaded there every week, one can expect that during those 360 weeks, another 280 books of interest to the reader will be uploaded, allowing for another 280 weeks of reading.

The goal, as an author, is not to offer someone “something to read.” If you want people to pay for it, then you have to offer a book that is unique. It needs to serve your readers better than anything else that has ever been written.You are in competition with Lord Dunsany, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Jane Austen, Lewis Carroll, and Bram Stoker.

That thought has to make you sit back and take a pause.

Me? I know I offer something unique. Nobody writes anything like what I write, and nobody ever has. My challenge is not to compete with all those other authors, but rather to somehow find the readers who would find my uniqueness attractive, and worth spending a little money on.

One Comment on “Regarding Free Ebooks”

  1. I like that you wrote “It needs to serve your readers better than…” and not “it needs to be better than…” For you’re not in competition with Dunsany, Doyle, Austen and the rest… indeed, Austen’s not even in competition with Doyle.

    Matthew Wayne Selznick on 6 Jan 2012, 4:48 pm (Link | )

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