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Politely Stop Freeloaders

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In the August 2007 issue of Writer’s Digest, Jenna Glatzer writes an interesting article entitled “No More Free Books.” In this piece, Glatzer tackles the sticky issue of curious readers who don’t think they need to shell out any cash.

“People who haven’t published books may not realize that authors don’t have an endless supply of freebies,” Glatzer writes. “Many people are under the impression that we get free copies of our books whenever we want, when, in reality, most commercially published authors get about 20 free copies.”

She then provides a number of polite ways to handle it when friends and family members assume you’re sitting on a mountain of free books.

I know some authors who enjoy giving away free books. They view these freebies as a promotional cost and they figure it into their budgets. They will buy 30, 40, or even 50 copies just to have a supply they can give away.

But I know other authors who disagree with this promotional tatic or simply don’t have the means to play literary Santa Claus every day.

Neither method is right or wrong. It just depends on your particular situation. But Glatzer’s article provides some good ideas for when you need to politely decline tossing around freebies.