Then there are an author's expenses to consider. Even if we don't have money coming in, we sure do have money going out. What sort of expenses do we have?
2. Cover: Likewise, cover artists can charge anywhere from a hundred dollars to a six hundred or so. Of course the better the covers, the more you get charged. This might be an okay expense if you kept the cover forever, but we change are covers for a multitude of reasons including people aren't responding to it, it's outdated, or the license on the stock photos has run out. And, yes, you have to pay for stock photos too.
3. Stock Art: Sometimes we have to pay for art, and sometimes the artist takes care of that. Stock photo places sell their work for varying amounts. Sometimes you have to pay for a monthly subscription. Anyway, having a nice cover takes money, a lot of it.
4. Formatting: I format my own books, but it is a HUGE hassle. Every time I format a book I run into different problems. I have spent hours, sometimes days formatting a book.
5. Promotions: After you upload a book your work isn't done. If you don't pay for promotions, the book will sit there undiscovered. There are millions upon millions of books on Amazon. Authors have to find new and inventive ways of helping readers discover their work. It takes a great deal of time and money.
None of these people will do their work for free. In fact, the readers that complain about paying for books wouldn't work for free. We all have bills to pay. I really wish people would remember that. They gladly pay for Starbucks coffee and pizza and other forms of entertainment like movies. No one expects that stuff for free. Why do they think books should all be free? Maybe it's because of libraries, but libraries pay the author's for their books so at least they're getting some money.