Sunday, December 21, 2008

Reprise: Not all Pirates are on the High Seas

Please read this article written by Charlotte B. Compo about e-piracy. Many e-authors just lost thousands thanks to one e-pirate. It's only thanks to the dedication of Charlotte, EPIC, and others that keep me at my desk writing despite the lack of luxuries.

You see, I happen to agree with Charlotte. I'm one of those who gave up a good job to write. I don't make a lot of money. In fact, almost everything I make goes right back out to pay the IRS to cover back taxes caused by that horror of the poor and struggling-- bankruptcy and foreclosure. When they foreclosed on my home in 2004 (the same year I had my first published book, you'll note), I didn't know the mortgage company "forgave" the debt, causing me to owe the IRS and the state of Colorado almost $20,000. I won't finish paying off that debt until 2012, unless I win the lottery.

I don't write books for the money. If I were truly mercenary, I'd go back to being a Mistress for $3000 a week. I'm too old to want to spend time in jail on a vice charge, thanks. Besides, it might embarrass the grandchildren. I write books because I love telling stories while safely wrapped in soft, bright-colored clothes instead of driving to hotels wearing leather so I can beat on businessmen. Sure, Domination is a great aerobic workout but it's damn stressful. You try being discreet while hefting a duffle bag bigger and heavier than a set of golf clubs into a posh hotel elevator.

Anyway, back to the pirating thing. This pirate with the initials AC had three (!!) separate websites where she uploaded ebooks from both the famous and the little guys like me and gave them away for free. Thousands of authors lost thousands each, thanks to this pirate. She apparently labored under the misconception that we were all as rich as Nora Roberts and Stephen King. Yeah, she pirated Nora too.

I can name at least three different authors who had to give up or severely curtail their writing careers because they couldn't afford to feed their kids without a "real" job. One is now working at a restaurant as a waitress because that's the only work she could find. Sadly, it doubled her income and keeps her kids fed.

Yeah, that's what piracy does. It stops authors from writing.


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