Piracy is a growing concern for authors everywhere. Five years ago when I started writing, no one even thought of it and now it’s costing an unbelievable number of sales. I really don’t understand the reason behind it. I can understand sending a book you liked to a friend, saying, “Hey, check out this author, I think you’d like her.) That, to me, is good word of mouth. But to set up a site where you give away someone else’s hard for work for free to a complete stranger is incomprehensible to me. Would you go to the grocery store, steal a pack of Oreos, and stand on the street corner handing them out to people you don’t know? I can’t think of anyone who would do that but pirates think nothing of handing out copies of books they don’t own the rights to, to total strangers.
I know one author who says, “If you download a pirated copy of my book, you’ve taken a carton of milk out of my fridge.” I will go one better than that. If you steal a copy of one of my books, you’ve stolen a shirt off my son’s back and the food out of his mouth. I have a little boy who is almost two and after he was born, I started making my living almost exclusively through my writing. I wanted to be able to spend time with him and watch him grow up and because I write very quickly, I believed this would be possible. Unfortunately, babies are expensive to raise and pirates are taking a huge chunk out of my sales. I don’t believe most of the people who do this are evil—they’re just not thinking. But whatever the cause, it amounts to the same thing—money out of my pocket that I could be spending to buy my son food and clothes. In the past several months alone there were 1700 illegal downloads of my books. Do you have any idea how many diapers you can buy with that amount of money? A LOT. And I can’t afford to lose it.
Because of this problem, I have hired someone to go to all the pirating sites and get my books taken down. This is an arduous process and he has to keep checking each site over and over as my books keep popping up. However, he is GOOD so here is my notice to the pirates—my books are going down as soon as you put them up. I am not going to allow you to steal my livelihood and my ability to care for my family just because you’re too lazy or dishonest to buy my books for yourself. And for my honest readers who buy the books and don’t post them illegally, thank you so much. Please stick with me. I have a handle on this situation now so hopefully I won’t have to stop writing and go back to work full time in order to make ends meet.
PS: If anyone wants to weigh in on this issue, feel free to e-mail me or post to the Yahoo groups where I will be posting this same message. Thanks!