Ah, good old piracy. It seems to have gotten easier to steal books ever since they went digital. Don’t get me wrong; I like being able to buy and read eBooks directly on my phone because it’s with me wherever I go, so I always have something to read. But it’s a lot easier to steal an eBook than a physical copy, so to some extent, sometimes I wish eBooks would disappear just for the pirating part of it.
Oceanpdf was shut down – if you don’t know what this is, it’s a website that had thousands of books available to download for free, stealing from authors. But when they were shut down, the thieves actually had the nerve to complain, stating they couldn’t afford the books (it’s the price of a Starbucks coffee for most…), and that authors should just give away their works because we should be grateful for having readers in the first place. Apparently, we’re elitists for wanting to get paid for our work. And if we’re writing for any sort of monetary gain, we’re writing for the wrong reasons.
Here’s the thing: in order to keep writing, one needs to get paid for it. Authors who want to get paid for their work have EVERY RIGHT to get paid. And people throwing the whole “I volunteer, so yes, I work for free.” well, it’s great you can do that, but it’s not the case for most of us. And it’s your choice: if you want to volunteer your time and not get paid, then fine. But don’t expect everyone to do it, and it doesn’t make you a saint and it doesn’t make us elitists. It’s expensive to publish a book. Those who self-publish, it’s even more expensive! But however you publish, unless you’re with one of the big fives, you’re probably marketing your own book, and that can carry pretty hefty fees.
A few months back (January, to be precise), I wrote a blog post about downloading book illegally. So I thought I’d update since it’s been a little over a year since my first book was published. I have Blasty, so I’m aware of websites that have my book available for illegal downloading, and here are the figures from July 2017 to July 2018:
Legal downloads: 67 copies (87.78$USD)
Legal print copies: 5 copies (56.99$USD)
Illegal downloads/read online: 12,387 (*27,870.75$USD)
*I calculated at an average of 5$ per copy.
Reviews/Ratings from readers: 22
Average stars: 4.35
Oh yes – I’m definitely an elitist. And think about this as well: even if I had gotten all that money from the downloads and online readers, it’s still a pretty low yearly salary. But it would have helped considering that in one year since my book was published, I’ve spent 936$, but actually made 144.77$. Oh yea, that’s me being a real greedy bitch right there. How dare I want to make a living off writing? I should just give away all my books for free while working my day job until I eventually have to stop writing because my day job is too stressful and takes all of my mental energy away. I’ve found ways to write around it (I wrote a blog post about it), but I won’t be able to keep it up forever.
If you don’t think my book is worth buying, then don’t read it – it’s really that simple. Or you can always follow me on Twitter or Facebook and whenever it’s available for a lower price, then buy it then (I’ve had 0.99$ and 2.99$ specials). If 5.99$ is too high, and you really, really want to read it and can’t wait for it to come out – maybe skip your next coffee run in the morning? Save up and buy it? If I really, really want a PlayStation 4, I don’t get to walk into Best Buy, take it off the shelf, and walk out the store without buying it. You think the courts are going to accept a “I’m poor and can’t afford it, but I need it to play Final Fantasy XV.“? Yeah… no. It’s not going to fly.
So why should it when it comes to books?
Not an elitist author.