For those who missed it, Monday was International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant day. It was an uprising, for lack of a better word, against a rant by Dr Hendrix as he left the SFWA. The gist: any professional writer who give away their work is a Pixel-Stained Technopeasant.
I am a Pixel-Stained Technopeasant.
Giving away ones work can actually benefit a writer. I have free stories posted on several sites as well as my own web site and *cough* a few fan-fiction archives. I’m a regular contributer to an on-line slash zine with a large readership. As my StatCounter shows me, people surf in from those stories. The stories on my own site are hit off of key words searches (the most interesting being “throbbing alabaster cobra.”) Do those hits translate to sales? I can’t be certain. However, I get as many hits in a month off the free material as off the ads I’ve placed on sites – and I didn’t have to pay to put them there.
Stories, ficklets, poems; just because you don’t feel it’s marketable, doesn’t mean that isn’t valuable to you. As writers, it’s one of the biggest assets we have. There’s no reason not to see it as a marketing tool as well. Why PAY for advertising, when you can write a better “ad” than a 150×150 pixel cover ad slot.