It is my desire and my intention to make my books free. I don’t write books for any reason other than the fact I enjoy it. Not for money, and certainly not for fame. I have over 20 books in mind that are yet to be written, and I’d love it if all of them, and the ones I’ve already released, were free. What’s stopping me? Well, the obvious.
Books take a lot of time and focus. The basic steps to writing a book is as follows:
1) Conception and planning
2) Writing one or more drafts
3) Writing the final draft
4) The editing/publishing process
I’ve heard the average number of hours it takes to write a novel is 475. So, if you write for 8 hours every single weekday, that’s just shy of 12 months (1 year) to write a novel. That’s a tremendous amount of commitment, and that’s only if the person does it as their full-time job. And if you have kids, a house, one or more cars, and don’t want to look like a peasant, you better damn hope you sell thousands of copies of your book.
So, me wishing all of my books are free to the general public is unrealistic. Or, is it?
I’ve talked about crowdfunding before, and I really do think it’s a wonderful thing. If I got to have my way, I would crowdfund all of my books. My audience and fans would provide my income. Then, once the book is complete, everybody gets a copy at no cost to them. You only pay if you truly want to support my projects. This way, I would be serving my audience and only them.
“But Michael, what if a book sells millions of copies, but you only got like $20k for it? You’d miss out on millions of dollars!”
I really wouldn’t care. I’m someone who believes nobody needs millions. Statistics show that the happiness benchmark (the amount of wealth where money stops increasing your happiness) is only about $90k a year. Even if that weren’t the case, I have personally experienced earning more money than I need, which was less than the general average, and it didn’t make me any happier. (I talk about this in my upcoming autobiography, Atheist Miracles.)
I want to be able to live off my books, but only to live comfortably, not live with excess.
So, to help possibly start make this a reality, I will be posting my books, half-complete, on Wattpad.com here. I’m still working on a way to make my books free and easy to access without Wattpad, but for now, the books will only be there, and only half-complete. Remnant will be an exception, as it will be on my Wattpad account in its entirety.
One day, my books will be free and more readily available, and the day that happens will depend on my donations on Patreon here. My books on Wattpad will be 100% uploaded once donations have reached a threshold of $5,000 per month, so that they can be enjoyed by everyone, even those who aren’t donating. I will then try to find a way to make Amazon.com lower my books’ prices to 0, but I doubt they would be willing to do that. For those who continue to donate, they will receive all kinds of additional perks for their support as well, like free copies of my books in the mail before they are wide-released, notes from when I was writing, etc. Perks will also involve my video/movie projects, but that’s in the far future.
In a way, this will make my dream job a reality. All that’s needed is enough donors, and I will have content for my audience for at least the next 25 years. So, please donate.