Here’s a question for all the writers out there that I think of frequently. It typically comes to mind as I read online forums for writers where beginners post questions asking for suggestions of books that are helpful to read about publishing, book writing, freelance writing, and so on. I’m constantly surprised by how many writers respond to those questions by recommending that people not invest in books about writing and building a writing business, but rather they should just look in their local library for comparable information instead of paying for new books.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for saving money, but here is the question that always pops into my mind when I see this suggestion:
Shouldn’t writers support other writers?
I’m not suggesting that writers never use the library, never search for information online for free, and instead head over to Amazon and purchase every book and publication ever printed. Although I’m sure I’ll get comments on this post saying that I’m suggesting every extreme scenario one can think of, that’s not my point at all.
My point is this — if writers can’t even support each other by purchasing books, magazines, newspapers, and other publications that we’re interested in, then why should anyone else? Writers are having trouble finding assignments that pay reasonable amounts, yet the first thing I see suggested so often when a writer asks for books to help them get started is, “don’t pay for them – get them at the library or buy used on eBay or find a site to download it for free.”
Am I the only writer who is surprised that other writers advise people who are asking for book suggestions that they should not buy books but rather find any other possible way to get those books than actually purchasing them first-hand?
What do you think? Of all people, shouldn’t writers support other writers rather than suggest that people find other ways to get the same information without having to pay full price for it — particularly in response to requests for book or publication recommendations? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.