If you've read my previous blog on this subject, or any other author's blogs, or excellent articles like this one or this one or that one, you may have heard that ebook piracy has become a major problem for authors. We, and our publishers, lose many thousands of dollars in revenues from books sales every year, because our books (even those that are already available as low-price ebooks for Kindle, Sony Reader, or Nook) are being illegally converted to downloadable format and distributed for free all over the Internet. What this means is we (and our publishers) can either spend tons of time and effort to send "take down" letters to these file-sharing sites threatening them with legal action (which is kind of like squashing cockroaches - as soon as you crush one, another pops up, and for every five you see, there are probably another five hundred hiding inside your wall), or we can ignore them, and freely allow ourselves to be exploited.
Well, this past weekend I received yet another Google Alert of yet another illegal download of ALL FOUR of my books, so instead of simply reporting them to my publisher's legal department, I took the time to speak up publicly on the file-sharing site's forum about how I felt about what was happening.
I thought it might be fun to share with my readers the reaction I got when I did. :-)
Here's my first comment, in reply to the posting of the illegal downloads:
I hate to be a drag, but my books are not freeware. This is stealing. If you like my books enough to read them, you should pay for them (the Kindle/Sony/Nook versions are very inexpensive).Apparently, hackers are not used to actually being called on their hacker-ism, and I wasn't believed, as evidenced by this response:
Why? Because pirated downloads like these not only take money directly from my pocket, but they do not count toward my "publisher-recognized" sales, and if they don't know my books are selling, they're not going to pay me to write more.
Boom. No more books by Terri Garey, or any of the other authors you might like but download for free because you think it's okay.
Tell me this - would you work for a year (or more) for free? Because that's how long it takes to write a book.
Terri Garey (the author)
OOOOOpppppppsssss !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!To which I responded:
this does beg the question, is this an early april fools day trick by or, what is dear ms garey looking 4 on this forum ?
Ms. Garey has a Google alert set up to notify her when her books are being pirated for free on the Internet. She usually just reports sites like these to her publisher without speaking up publicly, but she's pretty darn tired of dealing with ebook piracy, so tonight, she decided to speak up. In third person, even.Strangely enough (or perhaps not strangely at all), it turns out that guy who questioned my response was one of the forum administrators who routinely posts these illegal downloadable files. Here is his completely lame and laughable response, in which he basically says that he does it out of the good of his heart, and that no one bothers to download them anyway. (So, um... like WHY DO YOU DO IT THEN?), and then turns me over to one of the other administrators to be "dealt with". (*Note* "d/l" stands for "download"):
Terri Garey (the author)
(So what do you do for a living? Feel like doing it for free for the benefit of your Internet friends, like those in this forum? If so, you're a better man/woman than me.)
i do it for free, converting ebooks for my internet friends. lot of noise at the moment while the publishers realise there is no place for them anymore, they are going to lose all those profits. but in reality the dl's don't justify the noise. just look at how many times ur posts are d/led, not viewed, but d/led. not many and this forum has a high number in comparison to some. most people don't know or are too scared to d/l from a forum. hell who cares as long as we enjoy our selves and the viewers keep coming.By the way, the way I was then "dealt with" was by being blocked from the forum. LOL! Bad author! How dare you speak up for yourself?!
have a great week andree, i'm off to the beach for a day or so, you can "deal" w/Terri.
Anyway, one final comment before I step down from my soapbox: Downloading books for free instead of paying for them hurts the reader just as much as the writer in the long run. Publishers will not continue to pay authors for books if they can't make money on them. Your pool of quality reading material will shrink to next to nothing, because the good authors will still expect to be paid for their work. (You think Stephen King or Nora Roberts or J.K. Rowling are going to start writing for free?)
What about Charlaine Harris, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Yasmine Galenorn, Jeaniene Frost, Larissa Ione or any of your other favorite Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance authors? If no one is willing to pay for their books, why should they bother to write them?
Think about that.