Sunday, April 12, 2015

Bad Pirate, Good Pirate

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-

*Le Sigh*

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.



Jean Joachim said...

Great post! I couldn't agree more. There is one more legal place to obtain free books, and that's the library. If you ask the library for a book, especially one from Secret Cravings Publishing, like your hockey series, the library can buy the ebook through Overdrive and you can take it out and read it for free.

V.L. Locey said...

Yes! Great point about utilizing your local library, Jean!

Tabitha Shay said...

Great article and so true! There simply is no excuse for readers to steal books. Most bboks these days sell at a low cost, low enough so most everyone can buy them. I don't know what can be done to stop these pirates, but if I'm going to be plundered, please let it be by Johnny Depp!

V.L. Locey said...

Well said, Tabitha, on all counts!

Cathy Brockman said...

Great Post. I buy my books form the publisher, Amoazonusualy since its so easy with one click and sometimes I use All romance. I do get some free books form newsletters like bookbub. I love parties as well. What really gets me is if you cant afford a book I have found that sometimes if you email or PM an autor and explain your plight most will give you a book for review ( not all but most) There were times I couldnt afford a book and now i make sure to support those authors any way I can like sharing events releases and buying thier books. There is no need for stealing.. hops off soapbox.

V.L. Locey said...

Feel free to step on that soapbox whenever you wish, Cathy. You`re right, many authors would be happy to gift a book to a fan in dire straights.

Gray Dixon said...

Good Post! Unfortunately, I think the pirates are here to stay because a large part of the population worldwide believes that all things digital should be free and they have to problem downloading anything. They may get viruses doing so on some sites, but again I really don't think they care.

BTW, always love seeing pix of Johnny as Captain Jack Sparrow. I happen to have a Captain Jack John Sparrow in my family line--the 1300s--but don't know if he was a "pirate"!

Iris Blobel said...

BRAVO !! Well said.

V.L. Locey said...

Thanks for dropping by and commenting Iris and Gray. Sadly, I think that you're right, Gray.