You can’t be generous in this day and age without being taken advantage of and harassed by what I like to refer to as the “freeloader mentality”.
A friend of mine who owns a book publicity firm, who used to do what I do but got smart (I say that on some days, on others I wonder) and went out on her own, does amazing work. Seriously, she works magic on books that we wouldn’t give the time of day. And part of what makes her so great is that she does it all, she makes time for conferences, she’s constantly learning about new things popping up in the industry, she has a very dedicated team of people, in short – she has a ton of great information, she’s an amazing resource of publishing knowledge. And she’s generous enough to share a lot of that knowledge with the public.
But she called me the other day, on the end of her rope, threatening to drink at 10:00am, because she was getting numerous complaints about a free eBook she was giving away. Yes, you read that right. People were emailing her to complain about their free books.
They didn’t like the format it came in, they didn’t know how to view it on their computers, they didn’t know how to save it to their desktops, how to get it onto their iPads, etc.
Can you believe this? Grown, adult humans who manage to feed and water themselves are emailing a big name in book publicity to complain about their free book and in the same sentence enlist her help in using their computers.
How about you ask the neighbor 6th grader to help you? I’m sure they can figure it out.
And while I don’t want to get into a political debate, really I don’t, I see this as a trickle down effect of all the abuses we see with government assistance. Everything in your life needs to be fixed by someone else, you’re owed everything you want and need just because you manage to breath in and out all day long. Well knock it off people, have some self respect!
I’m not going to claim I can fix the endless problems with our government (or the people who abuse it), but I can fix most of the problems for authors: it’s called Google.
You’ll get nowhere relying on someone else to make you or your book a success. End. Of. Story. If you don’t understand something and you don’t want to pay a knowledgeable professional for their time to explain it to you, Google it. The Internet is an amazing thing. If you haven’t tried it yet, give it a whirl, dig in, and learn some shit.