I managed to e publish my SF book called 'Kreator' after thinking that such a small fry book will have to be free.... Unless the author is already well represented in the world of publications, the chances of having regular readers have to be quite small. I didn't expect to receive any actual 'earnings' . It is cheaper, free even, as opposed to making real books with cutting edges. With so many people writing today, and the ease of publishing e books, I imagined that making money would be, as has been historically the case within the arts, an abstract idea, of no real substance. Perhaps I will be wrong, and you can say so, but there is something quite satisfying about doing things for nothing materially. I have done it expertly for many years here in the UK, and as a result I have to lose a few pounds! Creative people are usually rich in ideas but poor in money terms. Changing that would be a real revolution! I like the idea of ebooks being used to raise money for something worthwhile though...like appropriate rain forest conservation or tree planting. Perhaps Kindle could think of a way to make this possible as an option? Make it do something that's real for contributing writers. After all, the world wide web was given freely to make such things possible. The global Amazon rain forests?
I think it's a great idea... if you can afford to do it like that.:) I would love to be able to give some of my proceeds to an humanitarian effort. As far as letting them go for nothing, you can do that on the KDP Select program (albeit, the proceeds would not go to a charitable cause). I've been writing for 30 years, and have recently put about half of my books onto Kindle. The sales, so far, are OK... not great, but better than expected.:) Perhaps, if Kindle won't let you "sell" your book for 0.00, you could advertize it for the minimal, and then whatever you make off of it, you could give to a good cause.:) Happy New Year!
You wrote "the world wide web was given freely". Not it was not. Just because you and I have not paid for the world wide web directly doesn't mean that it was free. First, American taxpayers' money was funding the US Department of Defense project, the ARPANET. The universities that participated in the project are financed from various sources too. Somebody has been paying all along. The Internet was "given" not for free, but for pennies on the dollar to the rest of the world in earnest when Global Crossing, a telecommunications company that provides computer networking services worldwide, went bankrupt in 2000 or 2001. The investors who lost money have paid for the cheap access to the Internet world-wide. There is no such thing as "free". Somebody always pays, even if you or I don't.