Fellow Writers — free up your books. I did
Fellow Writers — free up your books. I did

Over the past few weeks, I did not do much to save civilization during the current pandemic, but I did what I could. 

How about you, Shakespeare?

Remember reading? Well, it is time to pick up the habit again.
What I did…I put up two of my books for free, on Kindle, for one day, to anyone suffering from cabin-fever…which these days means everybody.

I may do the same for the rest of my books. These first two offerings “sold” beautifully. People like FREE, and people like BOOKS. Or did.

Remember reading? Well, it is time to pick up the habit again. To my Talmud-Torah-reading buddies, we all know it is never enough. This is a good time to double down. 

Starting with me, you say? Yes!

What’s the profit for the author when he gives away his books for free? Nothing. Except that you’ve done SOMETHING, something to help people get through these tough times. 

Reading is therapeutic. So is writing. Even more so, for writers like me.

I could be missing it, but I find no other writers chipping in. Where are you? I suggest your own freebees. Same for publishers. Make it a day, or two, a week, of books for free.

I am sending this appeal to my writing brothers and sisters in the USA and Israel.

My publisher, Paul Rabinovitch, at CCB Publishing/DayRay Literary Press, jumped at the idea, and got it done wonderfully and wholeheartedly, as he does everything. 

You end up losing money? Join the club. Everybody is losing money. But think of the goodwill. Tzedakah is a virtue that expects no payoff…except that you did the right thing. I could be persuaded to put up “The Bathsheba Deadline” as my next Kindle freebee, for a day, because it is so topical for this day, or any other day. 

People do ask which one of my books I like best, and for this there is no answer. You tend to love them all.  

So far as generally what books to read, free or otherwise, I suppose you’ll be asking me which ones I recommend. You first. Because I would not know where to begin. But I will recommend which books not to read. Two categories…self-help, and those (ghost) written by TV personalities. As for self-help, no one ever gets helped, except the author.

So far as books written by TV types, I find it obnoxious when people trade in their dubious fame to imagine themselves qualified as writers. That is a different profession, and it is trampling on my territory. For writers – the real ones – it is a lifetime of blood, sweat and toil. They spend a third of their lives learning how it is done, from reading other writers. The next third, starving, and waiting for the mail to deliver another rejection slip. 

Just when it seems utterly hopeless, and that your father was right to recommend Accounting, finally, some success. You are a published author. You are hailed for your overnight success.

But then it starts all over again, only now the critics will be waiting, and besides all that, don’t count on getting rich. Maybe 50 writers in America can live on royalties alone.

Most writers have two jobs…the writing by night, and the cab-driving by day.

Then here they come, the TV news and opinion celebrities. They are rich enough, but as we know, you can never be too rich, too thin, or too famous.

They haven’t paid their dues, but come ready to cash in as Authors. Usually it is the agent who prods them to get it done, for this is another way to make a quick buck. The subject is usually politics and the writing is usually done by a team…something like a sweatshop operation…with the Celeb dictating. Dictating is not writing. 

Nobody reads the book but everybody buys the book because the “writer” is a household name.

A real book takes two to 20 years to write, but it would only take a moment to get it out for free as a gift to the reading public, which would surely be grateful for your generosity at this difficult time.

Who’s joining me?

New York-based bestselling American novelist Jack Engelhard writes regularly for Arutz Sheva.

He wrote the worldwide book-to-movie bestseller “Indecent Proposal,” and the authoritative newsroom epic, “The Bathsheba Deadline,” followed by his coming-of-age classics, “The Girls of Cincinnati,” and, the Holocaust-to-Montreal memoir, “Escape from Mount Moriah,” for which contemporaries have hailed him “The last Hemingway, a writer without peer, and the conscience of us all.” Website: www.jackengelhard.com