(Translation: stop fucking pirating our books, peeps.)
By Jenna Byrnes
The topic this week is For Love or Money--giving away our books vs. selling them. I do both. Hopefully I sell more than I give away, of course, but I don't mind giving away a few here and there. I run a contest in my newsletter each month, and the winner gets to pick a download of my available titles.
In July I attended the Carol Lynne Author/Reader Weekend in Kansas City. I met a bunch of wonderful people there, everyone was nice and so much fun! Some of them seemed kind of excited to meet me, which both thrilled and shocked the hell out of me. I signed a few bookmarks, and gave away almost all the print book inventory I had in stock. The people were just so sweet, how could I not give them a little something? Besides, it was obvious the ones I gifted had already purchased some of my books, and for that I'm so very grateful.
There's a third leg in this 'For Love or Money' debate, and it's one that's been spoken of a lot on the web recently. Ebook Piracy. Where the choice to give or sell is taken away from the author. Some people don't think it's a big deal. I'll admit, I never thought much about it when it first came to light in the form of illegal music and film downloads. But ebook piracy has hit me directly in my pocketbook, which can barely afford the hit.
This diagram, found on the website of author Addison Albright, says it all:
Ebook piracy is unfair to all authors, but really hurts small authors like me who are trying to eek their way in the world. Most ebook authors, myself included, work another job to pay the bills. But even those who don't, and those who will never have to again (Stephen King and Nora Roberts pop into mind) don't deserve to have their work taken from them and copied without their permission. Maybe it takes making something personal to get people enraged about a subject. I guess it did with me. When I find the pirate sites online, and see the number of free downloads there have been of my books, it makes me sick.
And totally takes the fun out of 'Talk like a Pirate Day' on Sept. 19.