So, I may not have instant Internet access (and probably won’t for several more months—UGH), but I do occasionally get the chance for perusal of blogs and writers’ sites. I’ve noticed something a few times lately, and it’s made me wonder: a Donation Button (i.e. a “please give me money” link).
I don’t recall having seen these before the past couple of months. It caught my eye, along with the number of people who seem to be making a living from blogging, which is intriguing to me. I’m not sure how I feel about asking for monetary support, even though saying “buy my book” is more or less the same thing, albeit you get something in return with that transaction.
I’m of two minds about this. On the one hand, it’s not easy to make a living as a writer (or to make any kind of money at all). Writing is hard, and in the era of self-publishing, the market is crowded with everything from utter rubbish to absolute gems, with no way to sort through the dross. E-books are generally cheaper than “real” books, so a high price means just that many more cheaper books to take away the earning potential of your book. The phrase “starving writer” is probably just as true now—if not more so—than it ever has been. And writers need to eat. Just because we’re artists doesn’t mean we get to ignore the mundane in favor of the magic.
On the other hand, well…seriously? Asking people to give you money and get nothing in return? It seems like asking for a handout, and with the number of people undeservedly on government support (the ones who are totally capable of working but who are LAZY!), do we really need to encourage people to ask for handouts? We’re already fostering an attitude of entitlement. If people need help, we should give it to them. But if they’re merely asking for help in the interest of not working…I’m not a supporter of that. (and I’m not saying writing isn’t working, because it definitely is.)
What are your thoughts on this? Give, don’t give, do away with the “donate” button entirely?