Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Pirates, Thieves, and Enemies

I can't believe this. Flash Point is already on pirate sites ::sob:: In fact, many of my books are now available for free. "Pirate" is too good a word for scum who steal. Let's call them what they really are-- thieves.

This is not Johnny Depp. These folks aren't nearly as handsome, and they damn sure don't have a good heart. They're still thieves stealing from little old ladies, widows, and the poor. Most ebook authors are not rich, and may are suffering more than most in this economy. Some don't have other means of income and no health insurance. Besides, when does stealing become okay if you only steal from folks you assume (incorrectly) can afford the loss?

This is not Robin Hood, and you're not stealing from the rich to give to the poor. You're just stealing. Plain and simple. It doesn't matter if you're not making a profit from what you have stolen. Theft is still theft. Buying one copy and then redistributing it is still illegal use of an item, like buying a gun and then using it to commit a felony.

How would you like it if someone burst into your home and took the paycheck from your hand? Yep, that's what e-piracy does to the authors who worked, often for weeks, to get a story down on paper. What? You think it only takes a few hours to bang out a story? No, stupid. It takes an average of a week for every 5K-10K words, depending on the author's situation and abilities. Therefore, a novella can be up to FOUR WEEKS of work, and a novel much longer. Yeah, you go work at your job for a month and have someone steal your income. See how you feel then.

Senators, you're losing tax dollars. Quite a few, since you tax individual authors like independent businesses, not at individual rates. We pay more than our "fair share" and that's only a small portion of what we could earn if we weren't losing so much to e-pirates who hide behind ISP's in foreign countries.

Someone tell me why I write and publish again? Why should I sweat, swear, and cry over telling these stories when someone is just going to steal my work and give it away for free?

Government won't help, and publishers can't help me, so I have to make the bad decision. I will no longer be giving away my ebooks in any form, nor will I be able to afford to purchase gift certificates on a regular basis because of the reduction in my income.

In fact, I've lost so much income to the theft of my books that I'm now working part-time again, cutting further into my ability to write. Don't try to blame the economy. My DH got a job in September and has been working ever since. We're still behind on our mortgage, but we're catching up slowly. That "catch up" can't happen without my income. We have a budget dependent on everyone making a certain figure. When my royalties are 1/3 of their usual, I have to make up that deficit, and so I went out and got a "real" job. Blame it on the thieves who dare to give themselves the romantic name of pirates and think they're being Robin Hood instead of what they really are-- thieves.

Sharper than a serpent's tooth is the fact that it's probably someone who dares to call herself or himself my fan and friend and smile to my face. Someone who thinks I'm good enough to read, but not good enough to pay fair and square for my books. Some friend. Some fan. With friends like you, who needs enemies? At least my enemies have the courage to be honest and hate me openly. I'd rather have an honest enemy than a false friend.

Lena Austin
Writing blog: http://depravedduchess.blogspot.com
Recipe and Pagan blog: http://third-infinity.blogspot.com
Low Carb Diet blog: http://fatfrogdiary.blogspot.com


Dawn said...

Here Here, Lena. I totally agree and wish something, anything was done to help Authors/publishers combat this growing problem.

LRC Owner

Lena Austin said...

Dawn, the best thing that can be done has been done-- tighter controls over the ebooks and their distribution. All of my publishers have enacted very strict moratoriums on handing out ebooks as prizes, and some have outright banned any free ebooks for the time being.

It's a shame we had to stop giving out free books. I enjoyed making someone's day by telling them they won a contest of some kind or just thanking them for talking to me on a Yahoo group. Those days are gone, and I blame the pirates.

Welcome to my Blog!

Thanks for popping by! Don't sit on the whipping horse unless you want to find out how it's used. I speak my mind and annoy many people, but all of it is meant in good spirit. Feel free to argue with me. I like it.

Best way to reach me is by email: voiceomt2002@yahoo.com