Piracy Hurts Us All


Tara Rose:

Yesterday on Facebook, in a group I have belonged to since before the first Tara Rose book was published in March of this year, I read a post by a reader who admitted to having illegally downloaded ebooks.

I had to read it five times, and in the context of the ones around it, because truthfully I was stunned beyond belief.

This is a group with over thirteen hundred members, most of whom are authors. Authors, like me, that she has won things from in contests. Authors, like me, where she has posted on our blogs and websites in contests.

She’s writing a book as well. In fact, just the day before she had posted a snippet or two of it in this very group. Here’s a hint: when you finish that book, pick a new name. Because the one you have right now couldn’t sell water in the desert.

You may have read or heard about the outrage on Facebook yesterday. This person was unfriended by countless authors and readers alike, and she’s been banned from at least four groups that I know of.

I’ve just heard that this person is defending her actions, saying she eventually bought the books she liked, and she only stole books from authors new to her. Lovely. That makes it all nice, neat, and pretty then, right?

Oh, and by the way, there are screen shots of the thread. And they, like the camera they were captured on, don’t lie.

There is no defense for this. And understand here I’m not talking about legal ways of sharing electronic files. I’m talking about pirate sites where the ebook has been uploaded by someone, and the file is then downloaded by countless others, all without the author or publisher getting a penny from it.

If you think I’m rich from this, think again. If you think all my fellow Siren authors are rich from this, keep thinking. I’m one of the fortunate ones in that if I had to quit writing today, I’d still have an income.

I do all this AND work a full-time job because something has to pay the bills. But I know plenty of authors who are trying to support themselves from this. When you illegally download a book off a pirate site, you take food out of their mouths.

Would I love to write full time and make enough money to live off it? Of course I would. But right now, I don’t. And I’m not doing this to get rich, regardless. I’m doing it because I love it, and because at least once a day a reader or fellow author tells me they loved a book I wrote, or a character in that book. That keeps me going.

Crap like what went down on Facebook yesterday makes me want to throw in the towel.

Piracy hurts all of us. Even the ones who weren’t directly affected. Why? Because it perpetuates several myths, one of which I just touched on. That authors are rich so why does it matter if I steal their books? It matters.

Stealing is stealing. You can dress it up and try to justify it from now until doomsday but your arguments are invalid because STEALING IS STEALING.

Another myth is that we should be happy someone wants to read our books, even if we don’t get paid for the copies they stole. Right. And we should be happy when someone hacks into our bank accounts and helps themselves to our hard-earned money, too. Right? That’s about how much sense that myth makes.

I don’t steal YOUR paycheck, so don’t steal MINE.

If I broke into your house and started taking things, and then told you I was only taking things I really liked, so it’s not actually “stealing,” would you stand back and let me continue? I doubt it.

And here’s another myth. Well, I let my friends borrow paperbacks or hardback books. What’s the difference? The difference, genius, is that with a paperback or hardback, there is only ONE copy being passed around, and the author and publisher got paid for that ONE copy.

With an e-book, there are as many copies as there are people sending it via email or downloading it from a torrent site, but the author and publisher only made money from ONE of those copies. See the difference?

Well, shouldn’t you put your work out there for free? That way others can read it and they’ll buy your other books. No they won’t. They’ll steal those, too. And my work is out there for free, in the form of excerpts, blurbs, and the entire first chapter of my latest release, on my website.

Piracy is a crime. It’s stealing. And to find out a reader I TRUSTED has betrayed me and my fellow authors in this way HURTS. A lot.

Here’s my bit on how piracy is affecting my life:

*TRUST. It was broken on Tuesday when I found a post in a Facebook group from a reader who had won books and swag from me in the past, admitting that she downloads ebooks illegally. Maybe I’m naive, but I trusted that my readers, especially the ones who fawn all over me on Facebook, actually BOUGHT my books, not STOLE them.
FINANCIALLY: I’m not rich off this. Not even close. And I probably never will be. I still work a full time job. I don’t live in a mansion and I don’t drive a Lexus. I shop at Walmart. I take my lunch to work every day because eating out is expensive. I have bills to pay. I have medical expenses. I’m a real person, living a real life.
KARMA: Piracy affects all of us, even indirectly. It perpetuates the myths that this isn’t a “real” job, and our books aren’t a “real” commodity, so downloading them without paying for them isn’t really “stealing.” Bullshit. Try walking into a bookstore and taking a paperback off the shelf, then walking out the door with it. Your ass will be in jail for shoplifting. Stealing is stealing. Period.
Thank you for all you’re doing, Christina!!!

Tonya Ramagos:

Dear Readers,
Very few people can honestly say they love their job. I am one of the lucky ones who can. Writing is my passion. Entertaining readers with the stories from my heart make my job all the more special. As a mother of 5 children, I am also fortunate enough to work from home so that I am there when my children need me. However, when my books are pirated, it effects my income to provide for my family. Please do not pirate my, or any author’s, books.
Tonya Ramagos

Trained to protect. Willing to die. Ready to serve…in bed and out.

A Siren Publishing Bestselling Series Available at http://www.sirenpublishing.com/tonyaramagos
Jenika Snow:
There are people that think sharing of Ebooks illegally isn’t wrong. I even know some people that feel this way. I just started writing full time a few months ago. Its a dream come true for me, but in no way am i drinking out of gold goblets or lounging around the pool with my own cabana boy. I depend on every book sale to help me take care of my family. Now, more than ever my royalties are important. My mother passed away a little over a month ago, and I made a promise to her that I would make sure my dad wasn’t struggling, and that their farm (their home and what they worked for their entire lives) wouldn’t have to be sold. So, you see, every dollar that I make is not only helping to feed my children and keep them in their home, it is also going to help my father if he ever needs help paying his bills. Stealing Ebooks may not seem like a big deal, but it really is. It is not like the library or loaning a paperback book to your friend. The majority of authors are not living in mansions. They are struggling as everyone else is, balancing check books, buying things on clearance, and trying to support their families. We only get a percentage of a book sale, and you’d be surprised what that small price is after it is all said and done. So, have a heart, remember that downloading a book that you didn’t buy is no different than coming up to my children and taking food right out of their mouths.
Jenika Snow
Dixie Lynn Dwyer:
Piracy IS A CRIME. IT IS STEALING. Every author works so hard to bring his or her characters to life on every page of every book. It takes, hours, days, weeks, and months, sometimes years,dedicated to finishing a book.There is great pride and satisfaction in completing a work, releasing it to the public with hopes of touching hearts, or simply satisfying a reader’s hunger for a great, memorable story. Stand up to book piracy by simply saying, “No.”  Support your authors today, so that they may continue to write and create the wonderful stories you love for tomorrow, for next month, next year, and for more years to come. God Bless the TRUE READING FAN. You know who you are. Stand up against book piracy.
Diane Layne:
I’m always so puzzled when people thing it’s okay to steal from others.   I’m a new author and have been doing it less than a year.  I don’t make much money from this and I certainly can’t afford to do this for free.  How would they feel if I walked into their place of work and took some of their income?  I’m sure it would be no big deal because they probably don’t need it all.
Lori King:
So you want to know how pirating has affected me? I’ve only been published for about 15 months, and I have lost thousands of dollars because of pirates already. When my first book Fire of the Wolf released on July 29, 2012, I found it on a pirates website 24 hours later. I was stunned. I mean, I followed all of the rules and only sent it to reviewers before release day. Turns out, reviewers aren’t always on the up and up even if they work for review sites that are. I was burned on the second release too, so I don’t send my book out for reviews anymore. I wait for the reviewers to contact me, but unfortunately that still doesn’t stop everyone. There are individuals that start sharing their copies of ebooks from the moment they get them. With family, or friends, or they post them on torrent sites. Every single copy that is downloaded takes money out of my paycheck, literally. And lets face it, if there was no paycheck I wouldn’t be able to devote my time to writing, which would mean less books for the readers who are honest. It’s a sad result to pirates. Authors become skittish of sharing copies of their books with anyone, and ultimately all of the readers pay the price.
Amy J. Hawthorne:

Here’s my bit on piracy-

I pour a little piece of my heart into each story I write. Truly. I don’t just throw random words onto a blank canvas. Each story takes hours and hours of hard work and it’s hard work that I juggle along with a full-time job and a family. I make sacrifices in order find the time to write. Big sacrifices.  And to think that someone would carelessly steal, share and throw it about like trash infuriates me. These characters are family to me every bit as much as my flesh and bone family is. Piracy goes beyond dishonesty. It’s blatant thievery and disregard for a piece of my family.