I’m still in deadline hell and it’s crazier than ever. Everything is due at the end of this month, so that means the first week of April I’m on VAYCAY. I’m going to need at least a week to recover from this month’s crazy, hellish deadline stress.
So a few evenings ago it was brought to my attention that my books are being downloaded willy nilly and in great numbers from several pirating web sites and forums. Some people are even asking for “donations” for them. I can’t even express how high my blood pressure went up as I explored these venues, saw how the thieves were scrambling author names and titles in order to avoid detection and read all of the generalizations for their bad behavior.
I hesitated to write about this at all because I don’t want to draw more people to these sites and lose even more money to thievery. Because that’s what it is, plain and simple. Thievery. It’s impossible to rationalize it any other way. I waited a couple days to write about this because it worked me up so badly. The cool off period helped, but now I can feel my blood pressure rising again.
I don’t make a lot of money, folks. When all is said and done, I make the same amount as your average office worker…only without the benefits. I make as much money per year as most of you. Writing isn’t a career that’s going to put you on easy street. For most authors it’s a hobby that provides a little extra pocket money. Writers write because they love it, but I have to say that when I visit these thieving sites it makes me love it a little less.
I sacrifice a lot to write. When my husband has a good movie to watch at night, or a good TV show, usually I can’t watch it with him. I have to use that time in the evenings to write. I lose sleep to write. I miss time with my family to write. I sacrifice time to just relax in order to write. I do all of this for a small amount of money. This is my choice, I know, but to see people just taking my books for free and thinking that it’s okay makes me rethink that choice.
What if you picked up your paycheck at the end of the week and saw that people had taken money out of it? Stolen away hours of your work just because they could? Wouldn’t it make you mad? What people fail to understand is that even a loss of a couple hundred sales to eBook thievery can harm an author’s career. It’s not hurting the publisher, it’s hurting the author.
To any eBook thieves out there — Don’t steal. It’s wrong. There’s no rationalization for it, and I’m not going to waste my time addressing all the excuses I’ve seen for it. Your parents taught you better, I know they did. You should be ashamed of yourself and you know it. Do the right thing, okay? I shouldn’t have to ask.
The bottom line is that if the thievery I saw a couple evenings ago keeps on at that unbelievable rate, there’s not going to be any more authors to steal from.