I should be working but here I am chatting with you people instead. Somethings bugging me.
I was in a chat yesterday about ebook piracy. I actually didn't do a lot of chatting as I really was, and still am, trying to do a re-write of an older story for publishing. Anyway, I found the chat educational. There are a huge number of authors and publishing houses affected by this growing, illegal industry. I read a couple of weeks ago that 3 billion dollars in revenue have been lost because of it. 3 BILLION dollars. That's outrageous!
Yet, nothing is really done to stop it. Governments ignore the problem. Or perhaps they simply don't know what to do. I know authors who spend hours every day searching for their books on pirate sites. I will admit I used to spend a great deal of time worrying about it and doing searches myself. Every time I saw one of mine offered up for nothing, I cringed and felt violated. How could someone offer my blood, sweat and tears to anyone who wanted it, for free. Okay, I admit, there wasn't a lot of blood involved, but there were often sweat and tears. And many, many hours of work.
I've heard pirates say they don't see how they're hurting us authors. After all, we're all rich and living in big fancy mansions, right? We make millions!
They couldn't be more wrong. As some of you know, my husband lost his job in February of last year. Because of the economic downturn, he's been unable to find a steady job since then. He's had part time here and there, but not nearly enough to pay our mortgage. Oh yeah, we've got a killer mortgage on a small bungalow style home. Without his pay check, we've had to use our retirement savings to keep the mortgage payment up. My royalties are nowhere near enough to pay them.
We're not rich, by any stretch of imagination. None of the authors I know make enough to live on. Many have day jobs and write when they can. Some have two jobs, sneaking time out when they can. And still others have small children, so writing time is snatched when the kiddies are in bed.
And, some have had to stop writing because they simply can't make enough money to live on and write too. Pirates don't seem to get that. We have bills, just like anyone else. We don't make much, we write because we love it. If we didn't, we'd be out making a hell of a lot more at a better paying job.
So, what bothered me about the chat yesterday? There were so few readers who chimed in. This is a topic that touches us all. Writers because we're losing any profit we should be making. Readers are, or will be losing writers who can no longer afford to keep having their books stolen.
I'd really love to hear from anyone who visits today. Any thoughts on how this theft can be stopped? What are your thoughts on the topic? Are you fed up with hearing about it?