I was just looking at my websites stats and was surprised to see how many people have been googling me. Its not that I was googled that caused the shock, its what the key words were: lily graison stories for free…wicked series free…tempt me not free…the list goes on. I find it odd that people would want something that costs so little for free. The Wicked series books cost $2.99 each. That’s less than what it costs you to eat lunch at McDonalds.
The long-standing debate of eBook piracy will likely never come to an end and I, like many authors, have no solution for the problem. I’m sure I don’t need to explain what I’m talking about but in case someone out there doesn’t know, I’ll spell it out for you.
If you take an ebook, one you’ve purchased or received from a friend, and redistribute that book to another person through email, files sharing systems/website or make printed copies to hand out, you have violated copyright laws. EBooks don’t hold the same rights as a print book you’ve purchased does. It’s not a tangible thing so, in essence, you don’t own it. You aren’t allowed to give it away or let a friend borrow it.
The best way I can think of to explain it is like this: When you buy a paperback book, read it and loved it, you can share it with a friend. You hand them the ONE book you have in your hand and send it on its way. When you buy an eBook and pass it along to that same friend, you’ve sent them one COPY because you still have the original copy you bought…then your friend sends it to her friend, so there’s another copy because you and your friend still have their copy….you just made another to give away so your one book is now 3. The cycle continues and hopefully one of those friends doesn’t decide to post your eBook copy on a file sharing system because them you have thousands of copies flying through the interwebs all because you gave ONE friend a ‘copy’ of an eBook. Now the author of that book you loved made, on average, anywhere from $3.00 – $5.00 on that one purchase you made (actually, chances are she only made 35% of that. The publisher get the majority of it) and the 700 copies that are now floating around the internet because of your ONE copy doesn’t give the author anything in return. Your author spent months writing, then a few more with an editor getting it all shiny, only to have 700 copies of her book stolen. And that’s exactly what those ‘extra’ copies are. Stolen material. The author doesn’t benefit from it at all. Sure people may read the story and love it but they won’t bother emailing the author to let her know that, they’ll just goggle her again using the keywords: Author X stories for free and the cycle continues.
I can’t remember who said it, but I saw the other day, another author say eBook piracy was like someone coming into her home and taking her stuff while she sat on the sofa and watched them. And that’s exactly how it is. It takes me months to write a story because I’m picky about how it comes out. I know I’m not perfect but I try to be regardless of that fact. I want my stories to be the best they can be so by the time they reach you, the readers, it’s as flawless as it can be. I can understand the frustration authors feel. No one is getting rich from writing. No One. Even the ‘big name authors’ aren’t. Of the $7.99 cover price you pay for that print book from Barnes and Noble, the author receives 6% of that. They have to sell millions of copies to make anything from it and those of us in the eBook world? LOL We’re losing before we even begin.
My intention wasn’t to come on and rant but I’ve seen this issue pop up so much lately that when I saw people were actually searching out free copies of my book, I felt the need to say something about it. I love the fact people want to read me…I just wish those same people would to repay me for my hard work by tossing a few bucks at me for my effort. If I wanted to give it all away, I wouldn’t stick a price tag on it. I can’t live off air alone. Stealing is a crime, whether its food, clothing or books.