If we want to get everything for free, why shouldn't our fans too?

Sandra Beckwith's recent post on buildbookbuzz.com asked the question "Should everything be free?" It was in response to a comment on her Amazon review of a book on book promotion. The commenter asked why anyone should be expected to pay money for a book on promotion and marketing, when we can just Google those subjects and get all the information we need for free?

Being a writer is free. As I've said before on this blog, being a published writer is far from free. You will always need to pay someone for something. This is much the same point that Beckwith makes in her post.

My question to all of you current and aspiring writers is: if we as writers expect to get everything we need to publish and be successful for free, why would we ever ask a fan to pay for our work?

After all, we paid nothing to produce it. Why should they pay to read it?