(Note: This post is NOT directed at the majority of my readers. This post is directed at the ones who STEAL my work and deprive me of income I desperately need right now.)
Part of my control panel for my website shows me stats, including page hits, page views, inbound search terms, etc.
Honestly? When someone hits my site inbound from a search term such as “name of my book” torrent? (And I’m seeing a slew of those in my reports over the past few weeks.)
Really? REALLY? You know that’s ILLEGAL, right? You’re trying to find my books for free on pirate sites.
May the malware of a thousand spammers infect your hard drive. And, FYI? Most of those pirate sites DO embed malware on your machine, so haha, KARMA, BITCH.
I’m having a hard enough time right now paying my bills as it is. If you’re pirating my books by getting them from pirate sites, you are NOT helping me. AT ALL. You’re hurting my ability to work. I am NOT Stephen King. Most writers are NOT. I’ve got a 10-year-old car with over 175k miles on it, a 60+ year-old house (and, oh yeah, one of our AC units is dying and this is FLORIDA and I can’t afford to replace it), and I’m NOT sitting on my ass eating bon-bons every day.
I’m usually at my computer anywhere from 12-16 hours a DAY, writing, editing, doing all the other stuff that comes with this gig. I’m not walking into your home and taking a couple of dollars out of your wallet and saying, “Hey, you won’t miss this, right?”
If you’ve been reading my books off illegal sites because you think writers don’t deserve to get paid for their work, or whatever excuse you’re using, then go to my book list link and buy something to make up for it, ‘mkay? And pimp the damn link out to others to, oh, HELP ME PAY MY BILLS. It’s the least you can do if you’ve been contributing to the ILLEGAL sharing and distribution of my work.
I have fibromyalgia and arthritis and CFS. Unfortunately, I can’t go work a regular day job, because there are days that I’m working IN BED all day on my laptop because I CAN’T GET OUT OF BED. Or ditto working on the COUCH. (Believe me, I WISH I could. I WISH I could go work a normal day job with a PREDICTABLE paycheck and write on the side for fun.)
THIS IS MY LIVELIHOOD. What don’t you thieves understand? I’m not pulling down a 6-figure income. We’re literally living paycheck-to-paycheck right now, which, in my case, is monthly because I’m fortunate I get some advances from my publisher, and then what little I make self-pubbing comes in monthly. And, guess what? It’s NOT a guaranteed paycheck every month, AND the amount FLUCTUATES. So no, trying to budget is pretty much a damn juggling act. Hubby gets a little bit of a retirement pension and Social Security, but between Medicare and my health insurance, that is eaten up pretty fast, BEFORE we even pay any other bills.
No, I’m NOT talking about LEGAL loans of books via Kindle/Nook. NOT talking about that at ALL. And print books are DIFFERENT.
Why is sharing an e-copy of a book illegal and not like sharing a paper copy? Because you aren’t DUPLICATING the paper copy, that’s why. If you photocopied that print book and handed those out? ILLEGAL.
It’s the replication and duplication of the e-books that puts you squarely in the realm of ILLEGAL ACTIVITY.
If you wouldn’t walk into a brick-and-mortar bookstore and pull a print book off a shelf and walk out without paying for it, then please, PLEASE do NOT pirate books.
If, for whatever reason, you still feel the need to pirate my books, chip in and PAY ME SOMETHING. If you can’t afford to chip in at least $5 if you’ve read $5+ worth of my books for free illegally–what are you reading them ON??? You can afford an e-reader/smart phone/tablet but can’t afford to pay for books? So do me a favor and STOP READING MY BOOKS. If people didn’t request them on pirate sites, the rate of theft would drop. If you can’t pay for books, there’s these things called LIBRARIES in most communities where you can borrow books for FREE. There are used bookstores. There are LEGAL FREE books out there.
Where is it LEGAL to buy my books? Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Google Play, iTunes, Siren-BookStrand, and (in some limited cases) AllRomanceEbooks and Smashwords. I have a spreadsheet of links where you can LEGALLY purchase my books. There might be one or two other ones out there still, like Diesel, Overdrive, or a couple of others, but if in doubt, EMAIL ME to ask me.
There are a few notorious pirate sites out there that CHARGE you for authors’ work. Guess what? WE DON’T MAKE A DIME FROM THOSE THIEVES, AND YOU JUST GAVE THIEVES YOUR FINANCIAL INFO! (Again, haha, karma. Enjoy having to deal with identity theft.)
I know some have used the excuse that well, the books aren’t available in their area. Well, I’m sorry about that, but there are a LOT of books that ARE available in your area, and you don’t need to steal the works of authors to find books that ARE available in your area. I’m sorry they’re not available in your region, but a lot of publishers do sell directly, world-wide, and Kindle is opening up more stores in more regions all the time.
Don’t use the excuse that you’re broke, too. Again, would you walk into a book store and steal a book because you’re broke. No? SAME THING. There are literally COUNTLESS LEGAL FREE BOOKS ONLINE. Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, Projet Gutenberg, etc. FREE and LEGAL books. So you don’t need to pirate MY books (or books of other authors) if your excuse is you can’t afford books. Because you CAN find LEGAL FREE books other than mine (or other authors whose books you’ve illegally pirated). If you’re insisting on finding free copies of MY books and books of other authors, you’re being a spoiled, entitlement-minded thief. Would you let your child steal something if they couldn’t afford it, or would you make them buy a version they could afford (or wait until they saved their money for it)?
You want the honest truth? I’m barely keeping my head above water as it is right now. That’s no exaggeration. So are a lot of writers. You file pirates who don’t pay, or who illegally upload and share my books? You’re NOT HELPING ME. You’re not helping your “favorite” authors you claim to “love.” That kind of “love” will drive us out of business and force me personally to go back to writing software tutorials to try to keep food on the table. My mortgage company doesn’t accept your “love” in lieu of a payment every month.
So if you want your “favorite” authors to keep writing books you claim to “love?” Try PAYING FOR THEM. I’ve got a hot news flash, if I can’t afford to make a living writing fiction, I’ll have to stop writing fiction and start writing non-fiction to keep MY BILLS PAID. I don’t have another “day job” I can fall back on to pay my bills. Writing is IT. And if I’m writing non-fiction (especially software tutorials) then I CANNOT write fiction at the same time. Believe me, I tried it early in my career. It was one or the other. My brain won’t multitask like that.
For all of my readers who DO legally purchase my books, and who DO pimp me out, and who are honest and good, I apologize you had to sit through this rant. I know that the majority of my readers ARE good, honest people, and I love you all so, so much, and I’m so incredibly grateful to you all, you have no idea. ((HUGS))
Oh, and if you’re a file pirate and want to try posting a comment trying to defend your theft? Don’t be shocked when my HONEST READERS, as well as other authors, swarm upon you like a ravenous herd of starving piranhas and virtually rip you a few new bodily orifices for it in their replies to you, ‘mkay? And no, I won’t stop them from trashing and shaming you, either.
I’ll be popping popcorn.