I also know that my clients don’t get books for free. The copies they give me cost them money, so they represent a true gift, in every sense of the word.
A while back, though, one of my clients went through the editing process with me, and he went on to self-publish his book with a print-on-demand company notorious for charging too much for its books. The client sent me a link, hoping I would purchase a copy. I had already read the book several times during the editing process, though, and did not feel the need to pay what I considered an inflated price for a copy. When I did not buy the book, the client, who surely will never hire me again, wrote me a nasty e-mail, complaining that after he paid me to edit his book, I wouldn’t honor him by buying his book.
He had a point, even if the note was harsh. On the other hand, I stand by my decision; I will not pay for a client’s book that I have already read, sometimes several times.
Maybe I should buy all my clients’ books as a way of supporting them financially. If I did, though, my expenses would rise and my house would be even more overflowing with books than it already is. I have edited hundreds upon hundreds of books that have been published over the past twenty-three years.
Instead of buying my clients’ books, though, I prefer to feel the warmth spread in my heart when a client goes to the trouble and expense to give me a copy of a book I edited. I also gladly promote my clients’ books in this newsletter and sometimes on Facebook, as well.
I see both sides of the issue clearly, though, which leaves me in a conundrum. Should I buy a copy of every book I edit? Should I wait and allow the clients who wish to send me a copy do so? What do you think?