Why are book bloggers free marketers?
- Companies hire marketers. They have entire marketing departments.
- These marketers promote the book, generate hype, and help sales.
- These marketers get paid (sometimes quite well).
- Why do book bloggers do this same job… for free?
Is it because we simply love to read?
Is it because we’ll do anything for a free book in return?
But why is it okay to do this should-be-paid marketing job for free, but it’s not okay to try to make money from a book blog?
Let me break that down a little…
- People normally get paid to market books.
- The book blogging community sees it as okay for book bloggers to do that same job 100% for free.
- Yet if someone tries to turn their love of books into a paid venture, people scream INSINCERE or SELL OUT or CANNOT BE TRUSTED.
Slaving over a blog for free is good.
Paying your bills is bad?
Is that it?
So here’s my question:
Why is it a bad thing to turn your passion for books into a career?
- Is there a rule that says you have to hate your job?
- Is there a rule that says it’s not okay to take your passion and make money from it?
- Is there a rule that says everyone in the bookish world should be a “starving artist?”
Whenever I think of all these points, I think of authors on Kickstarter.
- An author wants to write a book, but she really doesn’t have the time or money to get it out there.
- To combat this, she launches a Kickstarter campaign to raise $x. This money will cover the expenses for releasing the book (book cover, editing, etc.) and will cover her bills during the writing period so she has time to write.
- The author then gets harassed. She gets called insincere, lazy, and a free loader. People say she needs to suck it up and work two jobs while writing the book because “that’s how it’s done”.
I think this mentality is so sad.
Why is it a crime to want to make money from something you love? Do you have to hate your job in order to be genuine?
The author isn’t asking for charity; she’s asking for money in exchange for an end product. You get the book, she gets the funds to write the book.
Why do people think it’s insincere unless she’s a “starving artist?”
Look at any other Kickstarter project in any other industry. People ask for money to cover expenses and to pay their bills so they can take time off to make the project happen. In every other industry, this is okay. This isn’t questioned. Because that’s how products are made. They take TIME and you need to pay your damn bills during that time.
But then readers look at authors and want them to be starving artists working two jobs while trying to get a book out there because “that’s how someone else did it” or “that’s just how it’s done”.
There’s this huge anti-money idea in the book blogging world—why?
One of my theories is because the book blogging world (particularly the YA one) is full of young people—people without financial responsibilities.
When you’re younger, it’s easier to fantasize about doing things for free, simply because you love them and not because there’s money involved. It’s a fantasy that’s easy to imagine when you don’t have any bills to pay yourself.
But when you get out there and actually do have bills to pay, that’s when you realize: you can either get them paid doing something you don’t like, or you can get them paid using your passion.
Guess which one sounds more exciting to me…
Making money from your passion isn’t something to be ashamed of. It should be everyone’s goal!
Seriously, why is this seen as a bad thing? This is something people should aspire to do—not something she should be turning up our noses at.
As far as I’m concerned, if you can make money from your passion, you’ve found success. YOU’RE THERE! You’ve done it! You’ve accomplished something everyone wants. You should be damn proud of this.