There are good pirates and there are bad pirates. Good pirates are handsome actors who will swashbuckle and toss witty one-liners while romancing you off your feet. Such as Captain Jack Sparrow-
I adore those kinds of pirates!
Sadly, there are bad pirates out there. Over the past year or so, I have had more than one run-in with the bilge rats. I suppose I should be flattered that a pirate site feels my stolen books would grab them some sales, but fans and friends, I just can`t seem to feel thrilled about the inclusion. What I feel is mad and violated.
Now don`t get me wrong, I know times are hard. I really do. I understand that folks think that authors are rolling in the bucks so downloading a stolen book won`t be noticed. That is far from the truth. Let me clear up the wealthy writer idea. Unless you`re Stephen King, Nora Roberts, or James Patterson you`re not getting rich from writing. Most of us barely cover the cost of having self-published books printed. Trust me; we are not tossing cash around with wild abandon. We write because we love the craft. If we can get a small monthly royalty check then that`s a plus, but the majority of writers I know would continue to write even if they never saw a penny. Just like a painter must paint or a musician must play a writer must write. It is part of us.
Just because times are hard that doesn`t mean I go to my local indie bookstore to steal books I want but can`t afford. And that is what pirating books is my friends. It is stealing. When you download that stolen book, song, or movie it is the same thing as reaching across the counter to take the money out of someone`s cash register. These pirate sites are stealing what may take some author`s years to write, and they are selling our work to line their pockets. Unless you purchase your favorite authors work through their publisher or a well-known carrier of digital books -Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, All Romance eBooks etc. - that author is not going to see one penny.
There are legislate ways for you to find free books. One of the easiest ways is to follow an author on Facebook, Twitter, their blog, or any social media site. Authors are always giving away free digital, and sometimes print copies, of their books. I personally give away about 10 free digital books a month. I'm mailing off a print book this week to a contest winner. On average I attend at least 5-10 Facebook parties a month, and I always give away at least one book per party/event. Just a few days ago I gave away a $20 Amazon gift card that the winner could use to purchase my, or any other authors books, that they want. Follow me, attend my events, and you too may win some free reads!
There is also the practice of buying books, reading them, and then returning them to get a refund. Yes, this also stealing. I won`t get into the change in policy that Amazon needs to make regarding this policy in great detail here but I will say changes need to be made. Amazon does not allow returns on music once it is purchased, so why on digital books? People on Amazon are abusing the system and are bragging about it. Personally I have never returned a book for any reason. If I find that I don`t care for the book, I simply don`t finish it and move on. The thought of returning it has never crossed my mind. There is just no reason to steal books. No excuse is really a viable one.
So please, if you come across a dubious site that carries a certain author`s book for a price that is too good to be true, don`t buy a book there. If you`re not sure about the site or where to find our work, contact the author or the publisher. We will be more than happy to direct you to a legal site where you can purchase your e-book.
Thank you for listening to a chicken-herding erotic romance writer spouting off, and thank you all for your support.