Forgetting my bad pun of the song lyric above. What I want to talk about today is actually a very serious topic to me.
It's about Theft. Specifically, e-book piracy.
When Napster and the Music Industry were going through their issues, I didn't pay that much attention. Truth? I never, ever illegally downloaded music. Did I know people who did? God, yes. Did I think about it? Never.
Now here I am, many years later, and I write Paranormal/Fantasy Romance Novels of the e-book fashion. But this isn't limited to me. Almost every author has e-books out there now, sold directly from the publisher or other 3rd party sites.
Like many authors, I have a google alert set up with my name. Anytime a new mention of me, Rebecca Royce, comes up in relation to my work I get an e-mail from Google telling me about it.
What does that mean?
It means that if a review site puts up a review of one of my books, I may even hear about it before my publisher does or before the website gets the time to e-mail me. If someone writes a review of Her Wolf on Goodreads, I hear about it, immediately.
I also get told ever single time a new Pirate puts a copy of one of my books up to be illegally downloaded on a file share website.
I have, if my own calculations are correct, been downloaded thousands of times.
Over and over and over again.
I've heard all the arguments. I've heard it said that e-book Pirates are not people who want to read my books. They like owning lots of files. They download everything. They would never have actually spent the money to read the book to begin with. Some people argue that someone who illegally downloads your work may actually become someone who buys your work later, that its not any different than loaning a paperback novel to your neighbor.
Let's take a look at some of this, shall we?
Someone who downloads my book doesn't care about my book, they just want a file, any file.
Fine. Except that they specifically seem to request me. (And not just me, many authors.) The second the announcement goes out that I have a new Westervelt novel coming out, requests go up on the Torrents sight to have it illegally put up for sharing days before it has even been released.
How do I know?
Google Alerts. I see the request.
Clearly said person must have read the previous books and liked them enough to want to read the next one. That's great. I'm very grateful. Please go buy it.
Now let's take a look at the borrowing from your neighbor argument. Would you loan your books to thousands of people? Thousands? Because thats what happens. When one of my books is downloaded thousands of times it is not the same as loaning it to Grandma who lives next door.
It's just not and you know it.
Okay. Maybe the people who download books illegally would never spend money for a book. Maybe they will only read books they get for free.
There is nothing I can say about this.
You've read these blogs before. You've heard authors much more talented and accomplished than me complain and tell you that it's not okay, that you are making it harder for us to continue to do this.
We're people. We have families we need to feed and take care of, the same way that you do. How would you like it if I came to your work and took a project you worked all day on and then made it so you never got paid for it?
The bottom line: It's Illegal.
Here's the deal....
I am so enormously grateful for every fan I have. There is nothing better than getting an e-mail from you telling you how much you enjoy my work. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. This is not to you.
Oh and to the Sites that refuse to take down the work when I e-mail them about it...Shame on You.