Never thought I’d have to say this to others who love reading as much as I do. BOOK PIRACY IS ILLEGAL. Please don’t do it! People who use these piracy sites (and let’s face it, if you didn’t purchase–even for free–from a major retailer or the author’s own website, you’re likely on a pirate site) figure “I’m just one person and it won’t matter.” But here’s the deal, people: every single download hurts the author. And in addition to stealing the money the author deserves for that one download, there are other more far-reaching issues that can happen. Please take a moment to read what has happened to Emma Scott, one of my favorite authors (my 5-star review of the book in question):
So here’s the post I’ve been hoping I’d never have to write. I will be posting in on my author page as well, so you might see it twice.
Book piracy is stealing. When you (the generalized ‘you’) download a book from a free book site, you are taking money out of the author’s pocket in more ways than one. The obvious being that we are not being paid for the hundreds of hours of love, sweat and tears that go into writing the novel, to say nothing of the actual money we spend to market it, to have it edited, to have a pretty cover, to have it formatted, to mail it to blogs, to take it to book signings, etc. The former are all necessary actions I have to take to ensure the book is of a high enough standard fit for publishing. And it is expensive.
When the book is downloaded off a free site, I lose money. That’s obvious and a no-brainer. One download might not seem like much. “But it’s just one download,” the person might rationalize. But imagine that person x 100 others who had the same thought. If 100 people illegally download my book, I’ve just lost $200 that would have gone to recoup the costs of publishing in the first place. It is STOLEN from me so that I can’t contribute to my household’s income; to pay my daughter’s medical bills, or to even buy something trivial because it was MY money to spend. I created a product and it took a lot to do so. A free download site (which is the charitable name for PIRACY) has stolen that product and is giving it away.
Some might say, “Well, I can’t afford books. My life is hard; it’s my only escape.” I’ve seen this as an excuse, and I’m sorry, but that’s all it is. An excuse. You have my sympathy. Life is hard. You DO NOT have my blessing to steal from me or ANY other author who has worked just as hard to put a little piece of their soul out into the world. There are libraries. There are giveaways. There are lending programs. USE these resources. DO NOT steal from us.
My novel, Full Tilt, has been pirated enough now that Amazon thinks it no longer belongs to me. They are making me prove I am the rights holder instead of taking a good hard look at the actual site it believes I’m “selling’ the book on, therefore breaking my KU contract. Because of book theft, not only am I losing money due to pirated copies I receive no money for, Amazon has PULLED Full Tilt off ebook retail and I am now losing sales there too until I can prove that I own the book that I wrote. If you wanted to buy Full Tilt as an ebook, you can’t. Not until I’ve convinced Amazon that the book is mine and/or I’ve gotten the piracy sites to take it down.
Full Tilt is no longer for sale, but it IS available to be stolen from me.
To say I am heartbroken would be an understatement. I now have to pay more money per month to a site that monitors book theft and works to take down my titles from piracy sites. More expenses. Some might now say, “Hey, those expenses are part of doing business nowadays.” To that I say, bullshit. Piracy is theft, plain and simple, and while people still illegally download books, these sites flourish.
Please consider this if you have ever downloaded a book for free. It is NOT, no matter what the site tries to tell you, authorized by the author. Never. Not once. Not ever. It is thievery, and it hurts.
Please, dear readers, don’t steal. You know it’s wrong. Would you let your kid steal just one piece of candy from a store because “it’s just one piece”? No. You’d teach them that stealing is wrong. This is no different. Do not take what doesn’t belong to you. If you want a book badly enough, ask your library. Many times they are all too happy to acquire it for you, and then that allows the author to get paid, you to read the book, AND many others to have it LEGALLY available as well.
Happy (legal) reading,