Don’t be a Douche.

People are pirating copies of Personal Protection. Grrr.

Listen folks, you may think you’re saving a couple bucks, but you’re costing me money. I don’t get a big fat-ass advance for these books. Most authors don’t. Most of us have to have full-time jobs and write our books wedged in between all the other stuff we have to do. From the time I sat down with the original idea for Personal Protection to when it was finally released was over a year out of my life. A YEAR! If you work it out on an hourly rate, most authors make less than a migrant worker. When I got a contract I had to hire a lawyer – you paid a lawyer lately to know how costly that can get? I had to have a website designed, hosted and maintained. I’ve had to buy ads on websites, have banners and bookmarks made. It COST me several thousand last year and I hadn’t earned a cent. I’ve paid out more than I’ve made already this year.

It’s not the same as borrowing a book from the library (did you know in Canada, Canadian authors get a percentage everytime their book is borrowed?) In a library the book has to be bought, and then is loaned out to a person one at a time. With downloads HUNDREDS, if not THOUSANDS of copies can be made in a day. We’re talking a MAJOR loss of income here, people. I know authors who have had more copies downloaded in 24 hours than they’ve sold in the lifetime of the book.

Every time you download a story thinking you’re so clever, you’re stealing from the author. Big time.

In the words of Jack Black…
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7 thoughts on “In the words of Jack Black…

  • May 17, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    This is the kind of stuff that makes me wonder which publishers I should submit to.

  • May 17, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    Sorry about what happened. You just had your book released, too!

  • May 17, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    RJ, it doesn't matter what publisher you submit to. It's not just ebooks that are ripped off. Pirates take books that are released only in print form, scan them and get them up online the same day.

    Most you can do as an author is send them a cease and desist letter, let your publisher know – they usually have someone to track them down and pull out the big guns. (although I'm not sure what the tinier online publishers do, but Samhain has a person who tracks 'em down and gets after them for the authors.)

    I sent a cease & desist order AND copied Samhain on it. And yeah, Personal Protection just came out – I've seen authors saying their books are up less than three hours after they're released. And don't get me started on ARCs being sold.

  • May 18, 2009 at 12:52 am

    Leah – I’m so sorry. I know exactly how you feel. My May release has been pirated already as well. I spent an hour on Sunday going through links, sending takedown letters and informing my publisher, time I could have spent doing something interesting!

  • May 18, 2009 at 5:56 am

    Leah I think this awful. I cannot believe that this happens, yet I know it does.
    Too bad you cannot catch these people and demand that they pay up. And I did not know that here the books you borrow from the library are paid a percentage to the author. I think that is wonderful and I am glad I use the library so much.

  • May 18, 2009 at 6:05 am

    Kathleen – it’s part of the “Public Lending Rights” commission. Authors have to register and they receive a small percentage based on the number of times your book is taken out at a sampling of libraries. There’s also a limit as to how much you can get (last I heard it was $5K but hey, I wouldn’t turn that down!) Many countries have similar funds for their authors – the UK, Australia, and quite a few European nations. Unfortunately the US feels it’s unfeasible. Their loss.

  • May 18, 2009 at 6:46 am

    I’m so sorry this happened to you!

    It’s one thing to read an excerpt or a free story (like the ones Samhain offers occassionally) on-line, but the people who download boot-legged books should be charged with theft.

    I’ve come across these sites once in awhile and every time I do I report them.

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