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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Today's Conundrum



One of my wonderful clients just sent me a copy of her memoir, Wife of the Deceased. Last month, a client gave me two of her books that had recently been released by well-known publishers. I get all jittery and excited whenever one of my clients gets a book published and then sends me a copy. I take personal pride in my clients' accomplishments. I sometimes look over the shelves of books in my house that feature books I edited that have been published, and it gives me a warm feeling to know that I have helped so many people get their books out to the public.
 
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?

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