Sunday, March 14, 2010

Thanks For Ripping Me Off

Just found one of my books on a piracy site. You know... If someone wants to get my book at a library or enter to win a free copy during MANY of the contests I do, I have no problem with that, but downloading them off a piracy site? It takes a special kind of vile creature to do that.

Do they not understand that writing is not a hobby? It's work. It can take a year or more for some books to be written. It can be emotionally exhausting. Authors aren't just sitting around in their pajamas eating bon-bons and every once in a while typing out a few lines.

Writing a book is no different than going out to your place of employment five days a week. In fact, I and I'm sure several other authors, have spent entire days writing. It is a J-O-B.

For those who think it's fine to illegally download someone's book I wish you'd work a whole month or three (the average it takes the fastest authors to complete a book)and not get paid for it. See how you feel about it then.

What's that? The site said it's not illegal. Of course they did. They've already proven themselves to be thieves, why not be liars too.

What's that? It's the same as getting a book from the library? Um, no. That book you got at the library was originally PAID for and is one physical copy taht will only exchange hands so many times before falling apart. It's not an endless download taht keeps going and going and going... BIG difference.

What's that? You're helping my sales? How if you're reading my book for free? I don't want to hear that bull about how it's free marketing and please don't start spouting off a comparison to downloading of music and how that has helped artists. Music and books are not the same. You can download a music artist's song and he/she still make money off the concert tickets and other merchandise. Plus, people may be likely to buy a full CD after sampling a few songs, but most people do not reread books. Once it's been downloaded and read for free, that's it. Exactly how is the author (who by the way is trying to pay his or her mortage just like everyone else)benefiting from this?

And to those who think authors are swimming in money, you are so pathetically clueless. The majority of authors getting hurt by these piracy sites are those who are exclusively e-published. Despite all the talk about the Kindle and Oprah's little endorsement, the exclusively e-published do not make very much money. Only an extreme few can do so exclusively and survive. Sales of e-books are nothing compared to the sales of paperbacks published by the big NY publishers. Unfortunately, we're the ones who seem to be robbed the most.

Why should we bother? Why work your tail off to attempt having a career doing something you enjoy when people are just going to rob you blind.

It's really disgusting, and heart-breaking.

Sadly, I often wish e-books and e-readers were never invented, even though that's how the majority of my books have been published. I'm never going to make a living from it when people want to rip off my work. It's sad, too, because there are so many greater shorter length reads that are only released by e-publishers. Guardian Cowboy is one of the best things I've ever written and it would have never been released in print because it's not long enough for print, but seeing it on a piracy site really makes me wonder why I bothered writing it at all.

If not for the fact I've been working toward being a full-time writer my entire life I'd probably say forget it and quit, but I just can't. I wish people would respect what an author goes through to produce a book and pay for it. If you can't afford it, go to the library or enter contests to win books and gift cards.

Would you walk into Barnes & Noble and swipe a book because you want to read it and don't have the money? If you're illegally downloading a book off the internet you're doing the same thing.

OK, rant over. I don't even know if this blog matters. Most people who do this type of thing probably couldn't care less.

1 comment:

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