Why I sell my book?
I have been receiving a large number of comments on my website about why I sell my book and why I don’t give it away for free. Here is my response to your comments and I hope with this clarification we can put this ridiculous topic to bed.
Here is a quick run down of what it took me to write a book:
- Nearly 3 years of work in my free time.
- Nearly three months in India and about four months without an earning to finish the book.
- Hiring an editor who took over two months to clean up the manuscript.
- Hiring a designer who took two months putting the book cover and interior together.
- Hiring a mapping software company to create custom maps used in the book.
- Hiring a translator who is about to spend 3 months to translate the book into Telugu.
- Hiring a web development company that took two months to build the web-site.
- Twenty other sundry activities.
Since the books are not printed in bulk, it costs close to five dollars to print a book. Retailers like Amazon take a 55% cut off the list price.
To date, how many copies have I sold through this incredible business venture? 63 copies. Yes, exactly sixty three copies.
How many free copies am I giving away to the media and the law makers? Nearly 600 copies.
The only people that make big money selling books are those that sell over half a million copies- the likes of, Obama, Palin, and the Clintons.
One might question, then why write and publish a book if hardly anyone reads it?
The book serves as a platform to take my message into more popular communication mediums such as the Internet, television, radio, and the print media. For example, my website is getting over two hundred thousand hits a month. The book has been getting air-time on TV and radio. I am also using the book as a tool to influence the law makers in India. I am pushing the book into print media through book reviews.
To those of you still suffering under socialistic syndrome and continue to think that free handouts are a birth right, please allow me to give my philosophical views on free market capitalism.
In my view, there are only three ways to earn money in this world.
Method 1: Loot, steal, cheat, or rob. This is the most immoral form of earning a living.
Method 2: Earn a living through the coercive powers of government, which it derives from the barrel of a gun. If what I wrote is not clear, try this. Stop paying income tax or property tax and see what happens. You will eventually see a gun toting cop at your door- and that is what I described as the coercive power of the government.
Many businesses, bureaucrats, politicians, and private citizens rely on the coercive power of the government for a living.
Government takes money from hard working people by force. It then redistributes it to those it likes. Governments often do this redistribution under the guise of morality. For example, the state government employees make up about 1% of the total population, yet they consume a large portion of the budget, which was the money forcibly taken from 99% of the people. Government spends over Rs. 20,000 crores a year on irrigation projects to help farmers, when in fact the major beneficiaries of this benevolence are contractors and not farmers. Many corporations around Hyderabad have acquired hundreds of acres of land with the help of government’s coercive powers. This land was forcibly taken from the private owners and often from poor farmers. Many companies lobby government to impose restrictions on imports in the name of economic welfare, when in fact these regulations prevent people from getting quality products at a low cost.
Barring a few exceptions, using government’s coercive power to earn a living is also a form of looting and, this looting is often done in the guise of “the greater good of society”.
Method 3: The last method of earning a living involves producing goods and exchanging them with members of the society in a voluntary fashion- also known as the free market system. In this method, people produce goods (or services) such as grain, meat, clothes, houses, medicine, automobiles, and computers. They then exchange these products with other members of the society. This exchange does not happen by force but by mutual consent, while money acts as a medium of exchange.
Now, all the do-gooders that love to lecture me about freebies, let me present a radical philosophical thought. The best service you can offer the society is to go and earn a lot of money; but, with one precondition. Earn your money by not cheating and by not relying on the government’s coercive powers.
A shoe maker can only get rich by making better shoes or by making shoes at a lower price than his peers.
An automobile maker can earn more money than other companies, only by creating better models or by offering comparable automobiles at a lower price.
Apple Inc. can only make money by producing products like iPod that are better than SONY’s. Similarly, Intel can only make money by making faster chips at a lower cost than AMD.
In each of these cases, as individuals and businesses are competing to earn more money, the society is also benefitting from either low cost products or improved products that are being offered.
Any money you make through voluntary exchange of goods and not by forcing someone to buy your products is the most moral form of a living one can earn. Your intention of earning money is not to serve the society. Yet, because of your zeal to produce better products, you as well as the society benefits from your act of self-interest.
Self-interest is not selfishness. There is nothing immoral about earning money as long as it is not obtained through coercion or through illicit means.
This system of free market capitalism even when tried in a limited fashion by countries around the world has proven to be the best way to alleviate poverty.
When you look at the failed nations of the world, you will often find governments to be the chief source of the problems. Governments wreck their economies by placing restrictions on free trade- via regulation, corruption, or gun barrel coercion. India is a classic case for this. Our country suffered under socialism for decades and was on the brink of bankruptcy. Then the government came up with an ingenious idea called liberalization, which is nothing but a euphemism for getting rid of a few regulations. This allowed people to trade a bit more freely than they had in the past. Voilla! The country’s economy, that was about to go bankrupt, turned around and went through the roof in a couple of decades. Government that was the chief cause of misery now claims credit for the economic turnaround, when it should take the blame for all the grief it has brought up on millions of people.
Many of the problems humanity faces today are not god-made, they are man-made, and to be more precise they are government-made.
Circling back to the original topic of discussion- why I sell my book? I sell my book, because it is the most moral form of a living one can earn. In my view, this is how all humans should earn their living i.e., by voluntary exchange of goods or services.
People like me are not a source of problem in the society, because we freedom loving capitalists make an honest living. Your focus should be on the do-good politicians and bureaucrats, their corrupt ways, their nonsensical regulations, and their abject failure in protecting life, liberty, and property.