Friday, October 18, 2013

No! You Cannot Have it for Free!

Do you ever have one of those pull-out-your-hair-and-scream moments? I'm sure most artists, writers, musicians, and other creativepreneaurs have. There is a unified voice rising across the creative markets and we are all saying, "No! You cannot have it for free!"  So today, I am going to paint a picture with words that describes exactly why you cannot have my work for free.

I want a new car. I want the best new car the world has to offer. I don't care how much time you, the engineer, have put into its design, or how many hours you, the factory worker, have put in, making sure it's safe. I want it for free...and I want it now. No CEO in their right mind would accommodate such a request from one person, let alone a whole slew of people salivating over the coolest, most luxurious car ever made.

The creation of such a car takes time. Sometimes years of research, engineering, and testing go into making cars before they ever hit the manufacturing plant. Writing songs, composing music, painting pictures, or telling a story can take years of research, engineering, and testing before they ever hit the medium of choice.

A lot of people are involved in the transference of car design from monitor to street - people who have to be paid. The same is true for creativepreneurs. There are editors, publishers, marketing people, designers, vendors, managers, etc. involved in that great new creative piece by your favorite author, musician, artist, composer etc. They all have to be paid - by the creativepreneur.

If we all gave away our work for free, in essence, we would be paying the world to read our books, view our paintings / digital art, or listen to our music. That doesn't seem to be a very lucrative idea, any more than the car company giving away their product.

The next time you think, or say, this or that creativepreneur should give this away, think about how you would feel if we said the same thing about the products or services you are paid to provide. If your company gave it all away, you wouldn't have a job.

Next time on Butterfly Phoenix, I will be addressing the New Slush Pile - DIY publishing and how it is hurting the publishing industry.