Lowcountry Bribe. She noted one in particular from a Simon & Schuster author, and read it to her college-aged daughter who happened to be visiting. "Ooh, tell her to buy that beach house for sale and move down here," said the daughter, with visions of my millions in the bank.
I told my friend what I made per book, and that my agent received a portion of that tiny amount and she went silent. "Ewww," my friend said. "That's not fair. You do all the work."
JA Konrath posted one his best pieces ever on the exploitation of writers. He explains SO well about how writers have always been exploited, comparing them to railroad labor in the 1800s. Comparing them to the horse Bower in Animal Farm by George Orwell. . . a poor animal that supported the evil pigs to the day he was sold for slaughter. Ignorant and blindly loyal.
I agree with him. I believe Apple and the five publishers in cahoots with Apple, conspired to capture the market against Amazon. Yes, that's illegal, and that's why the Department of Justice has filed suit against them. (Read more about the details of the suit at Nathan Bransford's blog.) There are better ways to deal with the huge shift in publishing these days. They are fighting to keep things closer to the old ways instead of embracing the new.
Amazon cares about readers. Authors should care about their readers. Apple and the Five cared more about profits. I understand one has to run a business, but one has to also move with progress. Amazon is staying ahead of the pack, obviously, or the others wouldn't have felt the need to collude and impede Amazon's progress. They eventually broke the law. People, there are better ways to fix this broken industry than this.
But back to what's important . . . the readers. Yes, it should always come full circle back to the readers. Like any business, you should be customer-driven.
Readers want to be empathetic toward authors, admire them, and feel akin to them in some capacity. If you stick to your writing, always writing, making it clear that you'd do it no matter what, your readers support you even more. When readers see that you'd write if they paid you in peanut shells or M&Ms, they marvel. You're doing this for them. Of course, you're also doing it for yourself, because you are compelled to write your stories. It's in your DNA. But being so martyred as to endure the shenanigans of the publishers in all their craziness, can only help you in the eyes of your readers . . . just as long as you can afford to pay the power bill to keep your computer going.