Some time ago, there was a wonderful ground swell against book pirates. It was gratifying as an author to see so many in our community rally together in support of authors. It was almost easy to think we'd accomplished something and that book pirates somehow drifted into the seas of oblivion.
They haven't. And just when one pirate goes down with his ship, it seems another hoists the flag. The abuse doesn't seem to stop.
We all know stealing is bad. It's one of the first things our parents teach us when we are kids. It ranks right up there with not cussing and respecting your teachers. You just don't do it. And yet somehow it's become acceptable to sit back and download a free book from some shifty site. After all, authors make tons of money, right? Surely, we're all rolling in it. Well, that's not usually the case.
I don't know too many indie or small-press authors who write full-time. The lucky ones have been able to make it a full-time job, but most of us work elsewhere to pay the bills. And frankly, I got into writing for pleasure, not money, anyway.
So why am I ticked off when someone illegally downloads my books? Because they are worth something. Like any work of art, like any craft, they took time (read: months) to create. And not only do they reflect my work, they reflect the labors of others: editors, graphic artists, cover models, photographers, and so many people who work in the publishing field. If one steals from me, one steals from many.
What do you do to combat this evil? Oh, and I'm not being melodramatic. This is evil. Well, firstly, tell the author in question. We can then send take down notices or have our publishers do so. Can you report pirates? Well, it certainly doesn't hurt to try. I know many who've reported them to sites such as Google and Paypal. It always helps to hit them where it hurts: their chest of gold coin. And most importantly, we must resist downloading from pirate sites.
Chances are, your favorite author already has freebie books out there. Most of us take part in regular giveaways and sales. So even if one doesn't want to pay full price, there are often options. I know I have two freebie anthologies on the market, ones I am happy to share without a cost attached.
Thank you to everyone who has made legal purchases of my books. Because of your support, I can continue to write and bring you more stories filled with adventure, action and romance.
Heck, one of these days, I might even write a pirate hero. Just not today.