What Watching Ebook Pirating is Like

I’m already getting searches from people looking for pirated copies of After the Crux. (Also Kithra, Replicant and Catalyst–all my books.) Did you know most of these are only $2.66 at Amazon? That’s really cheap. 🙂

Some don’t know this, but you don’t need to own a Kindle to read ebooks from Amazon. You can download the Kindle Ap–which is wonderfully user-friendly–and read the books right on your computer, your phone, iPad, etc. Also, if you’re looking for a pdf copy, Samhain offers one at their website.


Honest sharing here.

I’ve been trying to find the illegally loaded copies of my books. This is time I have to take away from my writing. Some writers feel it’s pointless. I’m not one of them. I don’t make enough to feel okay about it.

So, when I find my books, I’ve been polite. I ask  for them to be removed and at some places I’ve received an automatic ban because I’m an author. (Such irony. They want the books, they like the books, but as the writer of that book I need to just stay out of it.) I tried the free trial of Muso and while these people are very nice and helpful and have been able to help friends with piracy, my case hasn’t worked so well. I’d keep trying and hope technology makes this easier, but I can’t afford to stay on with them. I mostly make less than the service fee. Yes, I’m admitting that.

1. It’s hard to promote your books–there’s a delicate balance online with this and more often than not, you end up annoying people.

2. It takes time to build an audience. I’m thankful for every reader I have. I actually buy extra copies of my ebooks myself and give out free copies in contests and to reviewers I know who enjoy the series. I spend more than I make sometimes, but at heart, I’m a writer who loves to share her stories.

3. So yes, I’m a writer who loves to write and share her stories. But I can’t afford to do it for free. Writing a book or novella takes serious time and work. I can’t understand why so many justify “sharing” when what they’re doing isn’t sharing. I both read and lend books. But I do it legally. It’s one book and I get it back. I don’t load a copy to have hundreds or more download copies. There’s a huge difference.

4. Imagine you own a store and have been paralyzed and forced to watch as one after another, people come into your store and take what they want without paying. That’s what it’s like to watch the downloads and “thanks” build on these sites.

5. People are tired of hearing about this, so here we are as authors wondering why our work seems to be worth so little to so many. Yes, a lot of readers buy the books, but on one download site, I saw hundreds downloading one of my books. I’m a small fry, too. I don’t have that many books out or a big following. For some authors, the numbers are staggering. For me, those hundreds, had they been legitimate purchases, would have enabled me to pay some bills and worry just a little less.  Maybe with a little less worry, I could have written a little more.

6.Again, there’s the irony. They like the books and want more, yet they don’t want to pay for more. So how is the author supposed to keep writing? I actually put this question to someone I know who believes ebook piracy is a good thing. Her answer? You aren’t the only writer out there. I can move on to find free copies from others.


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