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.
I made myself LOUD and CLEAR enough on how I liked your book and I agree with you about the philosophy of selling your book. However, I do not agree with your thesis on free markets. Believers in unfettered free markets do and want us to believe that the triumph of a regulation-free free markets as a fait accompli. You can’t prove the effectiveness of something that doesn’t really exist.
Looking forward to our ‘debate’
Here is a repeat of one my comments from another post:
Free market flawed, says survey
By James Robbins
Diplomatic correspondent, BBC News
Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, a new BBC poll has found widespread dissatisfaction with free-market capitalism.
In the global poll for the BBC World Service, only 11% of those questioned across 27 countries said that it was working well.
Most thought regulation and reform of the capitalist system were necessary.
There were also sharp divisions around the world on whether the end of the Soviet Union was a good thing.
In 1989, as the Berlin Wall fell, it was a victory for ordinary people across Eastern and Central Europe.
It also looked at the time like a crushing victory for free-market capitalism.
Twenty years on, this new global poll suggests confidence in free markets has taken heavy blows from the past 12 months of financial and economic crisis.
More than 29,000 people in 27 countries were questioned. In only two countries, the United States and Pakistan, did more than one in five people feel that capitalism works well as it stands.
Almost a quarter – 23% of those who responded – feel it is fatally flawed. That is the view of 43% in France, 38% in Mexico and 35% in Brazil.
And there is very strong support around the world for governments to distribute wealth more evenly. That is backed by majorities in 22 of the 27 countries.
If there is one issue where a global consensus seems to emerge from the survey it is this: there are majorities almost everywhere wanting government to be more active in regulating business.
It is only in Turkey that a majority want less government regulation.
Opinion about the disintegration of the Soviet Union is sharply divided.
Europeans overwhelmingly say it was a good thing: 79% in Germany, 76% in Britain and 74% in France feel that way.
But outside the developed West it is a different picture. Almost seven in 10 Egyptians say the end of the Soviet Union was a bad thing and views are sharply divided in India, Kenya and Indonesia.
You want to sell your book, Yes or No is good enough. Further explanation is not worth an article. Any thing more sounds more like as personal grudge or forcing individual thoughts on to people.
Mohan garu, I agree with many of your ideas but I totally disagree with 1-5 points you mentioned in your comment above. Majority of the people whom you have generalized gain there thinking, maturity levels with age, responsibilities over a period in their lives. You just cannot stereotype every telugu person.
Chakravarthy Garu , I totally agree with you. Why not ? Why not charge the fruit of your labor ? Folks expect everything to be free. They need to understand that if you can make money out of it ( or break even) , it will encourage you to take up another book writing project.
May be some of those who asked are expecting the message will reach general public by making the book free. In that case I can relate to their intention. But if someone living in the US cannot pay 15 bucks for a book that can be used as a reference ? Damn , that is too cheap. It’s not that I have not expected everything for free. I have done my share of copying music and wanted everything for free. But once I realized that it does cost money to create a product, I started buying books, CDs ,DVDs.
Asking for a cheaper price is one thing but wanting it for free is sin.
It is beyond doubt that what you did is a tremendous job. What you gave us (the Telugu people world over) is an enormous gift (not like the ones we get for birthdays 🙂 ) And like you rightly pointed out the socialistic mindset has not left the people’s minds. I wonder if a generation change will do any good with the politicians’ vote bank politics.
I wanted to ask you, a supporter of free, regulation-free market, a question on some practicalities of it’s workings. As I started to compose it here, the length of the comment was getting too long. So I decided to start a discussion in the form of a post, https://www.teluglobe.com/inthenews/usa/is-a-regulation-free-market-practical-a-discussion. I’d be glad if you and Mohan garu and anybody comment and enlighten me.
You did not even have to dignify that question with any response – much less a response this detailed.
No doubt Telugu people have great roots. But some of the latest antics of our people are so pathetic that professionalism is something we expect from others – not from ourselves. Here are some specifics:
1. We expect everything free from everybody;
2. We prejudge people by which caste they belong to and use all kind of foul language to describe the other caste and how bad they are, why only they are responsible for all the caste feelings etc etc;
3. We prejudge people based on which region they are born in;
4. We gather in large crowds and talk loud in a land far away from Andhra Pradesh where such a behavior is completely unacceptable; and
5. We behave rowdy-like in theaters from San Diego to Boston
I can cite more.. you get my point.