WARNING: this post may spiral into a rant...
I don't usually talk about the negative things that go on behind the scenes of being an Indie author. Complaining about stuff (in public) is not really my style. I like to try and take everything with a grain of salt, move on through the rough patches, and see the good in any given situation. But I feel as if I need to say this...
I'm one of those people that would rather pay the $8 to hire a movie than watch some crappy rip-off for free. Better still, I'll pay the exuberant cinema price to see a movie on the big screen. I'm also the kind of person that loves to hold a CD in my hands, flick through the booklet and read the lyrics.
Most people would argue that there is nothing wrong with piracy. Everyone does it. It's just the way things are now with the internet and the digital age. But I think there is a lot wrong with piracy, and it has unfortunately become an acceptable practice.
The first time I found my book available as a free download, I wanted to cry. I think I actually did cry. Then I emailed a good author friend and asked her what to do. She basically told me that other than emailing them and asking them to remove my book from their website, there was nothing else I could do.
Because I can't afford to hire a lawyer.
After a while I made peace with the fact that my book was available for free without my consent. On the upside people are reading my work. Maybe they'll like it so much they'll want to pay for a copy, or write a review.
I also figured that I was one little fish in a gigantic ocean of sharks, and fighting the sharks would get me eaten alive. So, I let it go. It was all good.
This week I discovered my book was available on another download website FOR SALE!
Now, having your hard work, blood, sweat, and tears distributed for free is one thing, but having someone use your work to make money—money that I will never see—is a totally different ocean.
I'm aware that some of these sites put items up for sale as a farce to steal your credit card details, so I'm asking you—pleading actually—don't buy from any site that isn't reputable. Authors don't distribute their books to dodgy sites that can't even spell or use basic grammar. Big corporations are big for a reason.
I posted on Facebook this week about my experience with eBook piracy. I know by far that I am not the only one affected. My heart breaks for every single author, musician, and artist out there that has, or ever will have, their work ripped off. I also said that if for any reason you can't afford to pay the few dollars to buy my work legitimately, I would gladly gift you a copy. I understand that not everyone is in the position to afford luxuries such as books and movies. Financially the world has been through some tough times. But I'd rather you ask me if you can read my book than use an illegal download website. I'm nice, I won't bite.
I'll finish my rant by saying, ask yourself this...
Would you walk into a bookstore and take a paperback without paying for it?
Would you stick a CD under your shirt and walk out of the store?
Would you take a DVD off the shelf in a department store and walk out without paying?
Piracy is stealing, just like shoplifting is stealing.
Please remember the people behind the work before you make the decision to steal from us.