Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Piracy and Book Sales

***Additional post can be found here, clearing up a few things about this post.***

I wanted to talk about a couple of things that I've noticed lately. Book piracy and .99 cent sales.

I'm going to start with piracy. I've ranted about it about a bazillion times now. Maybe more. And yet it keeps happening. And it will continue to happen. As long as a book is published in eBook format, it will be pirated. It's sad, but true. (Look at me, quoting Metallica songs. My husband would be proud.)


There are thousands of people pirating books. THOUSANDS. Sadly, several of these people are bloggers. Authors talk. A lot. (What do you think we do when we're trying to avoid writing? We talk to each other. Darn social media.) There are several blogs that have been called out on piracy, and even more that haven't. But authors keep track of that stuff. Unfortunately, I can't talk to every author out there, so I'm sure there are blogs doing it that I'm not aware of.

Due to the above statement, I've decided that for future blog tours, I will no longer have an open door policy. The last few tours I've ran, I've had several blogs signup, get the ARC, and never post a thing. At all. Not even a, "Your book sucks. Go away."

I hate to do this because I know there are A LOT of good blogs out there. Some of my best friends are bloggers that I've met since I started writing. But sadly, one person can ruin it for everyone.

Before you download a pirated copy of a book, please think about this:

Books are an author's livelihood. We have to survive off of our book sales. If you're pirating them, we're basically working without getting paid. A book takes MONTHS to complete. You have to write it, edit it, edit it again, send it to an editor, do final edits once you get it back, read through it until your eyeballs bleed, and then have it formatted. That doesn't even begin to cover it though. You have to pay for a cover, promo material, book signings you attend (those suckers aren't free - table fee, hotel, food, travel... the list goes on and on.)

Imagine working overtime for two weeks straight. You're tired, you're cranky, and all you want to do is cash your paycheck, go pig out at a restaurant, and spend some cash. But when your check arrives, they didn't pay you for ANY of your overtime. Same thing. Wouldn't you be mad too?

My books can be found on Amazon, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, and Smashwords. Torn and Twisted are the exception - they're also on Google Books. ANY PLACE ELSE IS A STOLEN COPY!!! Plus, most of those sites usually have viruses on them or worse. I once clicked on a link to a pirated copy of my book, only to see a video I will NEVER be able to wash out of my brain, no matter how much bleach I pour into my eyes.

Not only does it hurt authors, it's also a CRIME!
Now, onto sales. I constantly see posts on Facebook and Twitter regarding .99 cent sales on eBooks. I have had a book for that price ONCE. Shattered Ties was on Bookbub, so I stomped on my pride and dropped the price for two days. It hurt. I won't lie. Again, imagine working for months on something, only to make .35 cents off of it. Yeah, that's it. Thirty-five cents. Not only that, authors also have to pay taxes on our sales. So, take off some more. I probably made twenty cents a book after taxes. (I'm in the US.)
I understand that everyone is on a budget. Trust me, I get it. But if you truly love an author's work, don't wait and hope they'll drop the price. Support them. Remember, they don't make $3.99 or $4.99 on a book when you buy it. The platform takes a cut and then they have to pay taxes on top of that.
My books (with the exception of Torn and Twisted since they're trade published) are all between $3.99 to $4.99. To me, that's a fair price since I have to give practically half of it away to the platform and then the government. I do not plan to run any kind of sale on any of them for a long, long, long, looooong time.
Also, I just want to take a second to thank my readers for your dedication. You guys are the BEST and I love every single one of you to pieces!