I'm so glad to be a part of this blog tour to stop E-Piracy.
This is a matter very close to me. I am not a writer, I'm a reader but I have many friends who are authors and I know e-piracy hurts them. They work so hard to write these books for us readers to enjoy and illegally downloading them is hurting them. I really hate e-piracy. You wouldn't walk into a store and steal a book, dvd, clothes or anything would you? Well that is what you are doing by illegally downloading e-books. This is a very important matter that happens often and it needs to be stopped.
I have a special guest-post from author Ninfa Hayes, author of Bites, to talk about the issue of E-Piracy.
"Piracy...but not the 'Aaarghhh' fun kind"
by Ninfa Hayes
I'd just like to start by saying these are only my opinions and thoughts, and by all means, everyone is entitled to their own :)
A few weeks back someone close to me told me she had found a site with some free books available to download. Being the total bookaholic I am, I asked for the website address and proceeded to have a look. I wasn't in for ten seconds before I realised the site was full of illegally downloaded material...
My first reaction? Well, a few months ago I'd have closed the window on my laptop and wrote it off as "another pirate website". But I am an author now. And I panicked. Why did I panic? Mainly because I didn't want my book to be included in those illegal downloads. So I contacted my publisher who dutifully checked the site out, and reassured me my book wasn't there.
But many others were, and it really upset me.
Now, don't get me wrong, I love a freebie as much as the next person and my shopping list has priorities just like anyone else's, but there's a limit to what I will do to save money, and downloading illegally is definitely out of the question for me!
I have bills to pay, rent, food, clothes, nursery for my daughter...the list is endless! I work full time and then I come home and work, sometimes until late, on my stories, out of love and the hope that eventually they will be enough to pay the above list, so I won't have to work two jobs, because let's face it, I have two jobs at the moment: the one I have to do, and the one I want to do but that wouldn't pay my lunch for one day, right now.
So yes, once upon a time I would have turned away from that site and shrugged. Today, that site is potentially stopping me from realising my dream of becoming a full time writer.
Exaggerating? Maybe, but let's face it, royalties aren't high, and unless you're J K Rowling or Stephenie Meyer, you ain't swimming in gold in this business.
I love writing, and the only way I can get to do that all day is by selling enough books, so if someone is downloading them for free that takes me a tiny step away from achieving my goal.
Let's put it this way: If you're a baker and make a cake, you want to sell that cake so you can buy more ingredients to bake more, and eventually sell enough of them to make a profit so you can support yourself and your family. Someone steals that one cake, you get no money for ingredients and no more cakes, or not enough to make that profit that will pay for your expenses and necessities and allow you to keep baking.
Now let's transfer it to a book.
You're a writer, you spend time (months, sometimes years) thinking up a story, writing it down, perfecting it, chasing agents, publishers, or self publishing it, which means you have to do your own marketing, pay editors, beta readers, contact reviewers etc, etc, etc. When that book is finally ready and for sale you wait for that money to come and allow you to take some more time off to write your next project, but someone puts it on a website for free and you have no idea, but people actually aren't paying for that book you worked so hard to publish, and you worry that your royalties aren't much but there's nothing you can do. Not enough money, no time for writing. No books for those readers that support you and are the reason you so badly want to write that next project.
To those that would say writing should be done for passion: I agree, in an ideal world we would all be able to do what we want and not worry about tonight's dinner. But we don't live in that world, and writers are just like any other worker out there, or like that baker, only instead of making cakes we make books, we cook up stories that we hope will entertain and inspire, sometimes we succeed, sometimes we fail horribly, but we carry on and endeavour to become better.
You want to read? That's amazing! Can't buy a book? If you're lucky to have an e-reader, Amazon have free books EVERY DAY! And online shops all over the web for most world countries. Smashwords is also a brilliant site with many a free story.
You don't have an ereader? Visit your local library, swap books with a friend, ask for books for your birthday or for Xmas or other festivities from your friends and family.
Still not able to get your hands on a book? Contact authors. Yes, you heard that right! Most Self published and Independently published authors will be happy to provide you with a copy of their book in exchange for an honest review posted for free on Goodreads, Amazon and other online places. If you can download a pirated ebook from the Internet, you can definitely take 10 minutes to write a review and post it up on a few sites. Can't write reviews you say? Take a look at some formats from Bloggers around the web and adapt your feelings and opinions to that format.
Afraid you won't like the book? Most online retailers offer sample chapters and so do publishers; or walk down to your local book store and sneak a peek ;)
Still not enough? Giveaways! Follow a few publishers on Facebook and Twitter and you'll notice they have giveaways EVERY WEEK! That's right, every week they give away one or more books! Free! And legally! And guess what? Authors do the same! Why? Because we LOVE, LOVE, LOVE our readers and want more! We want to spoil them, we want more of them, because without them what we do would be useless :)
So the next time you're about to download a pirated book, just remember this: what would you do if your favourite author, that little self pubbed writer you discovered by chance for example, couldn't finish telling you the story you so love? How would you feel? And the same goes for that mega famous author you adore, believe it or not. Would you steal their food? Their car? What about their CDs? That one book you're illegally downloading might be paying for tomorrow's lunch!
Would you go into your local store and steal that book? No? Then don't do it online ;)
If you don't care about it, fair enough...press that download button and I hope you enjoy your read...
Thank you so much for being on K-Books to talk about the issue.