I want my money.
No, let me rephrase: I NEED my money.
That said, I completely grok that this isn’t always possible. Distribution & availability are very real barriers in some locations of planet Earth. National law can also be a barrier. In some countries (where I know my books are read anyway, yay!), it’s illegal to own a copy of my work, because reading material of a homosexual nature is forbidden and often punishable. In those cases, I’d like to air-lift an emergency payload of gay romance novels for the populace to wallpaper the sidewalks with.
Sigh. Oh Humans, why you so dumb and mean?
In some countries, the exchange rate for my books makes their pricing laughably out of reach. And yet, people still want to read them. I know, because I’ve heard from those people. So what to do?
First off, I try not to be a hoo-hoo. If you can’t afford my book, then you just can’t afford it and that’s that. I believe you. Given the choices of you never reading it and never giving me any money, or simply lifting it and reading it, I’d rather you lifted it and read your little heart out. The math says that I was never making any $$ in that scenario anyway, so really, it’s a win for me.
Speaking of winning, my real problem with e-piracy is when people try to win the Wiener of Coolness award among their peers by zipping ALL of my books into a file and uploading to a huge, popular sharing site accessible by, well, the whole world, thereby making my very own sweat-of-my-knuckles work free to the world. Their reward? Favorable comments and thanks you’s from the sharing masses.
I once pressured a particular wiener to take the file down and the comments started to swing my way, but they weren’t exactly favorable. “Xxx went to all that work to upload and poof! Just like that, that work was wasted by the selfish author!”
And then my brains leaked out through my nose like the raspberry jelly of stupid, because WHAT?
I don’t argue ebook piracy in real-time any more. I just don’t. There’s no point, because any way you slice that stinky cheese, the person you’re arguing with believes that their POV is the correct one and nothing you say will sway them. You hear me? NOTHING! You’re a toadying, stingy jerkface sell-out to the mega-corp Man and you probably spend your days in bed rolling on all the money you’ve made, so poopy on you, greedy author bastard blaaaarghhhh!
Yeaaaaah. No. That’s not my life. I wish that was my life.
I don’t mind friends sharing my books among each other or a small circle, or even a largish circle. That’s what friends do. That’s what books do. But if you’re a friend of mine, what you won’t do is upload my books to a public mega-sharing/torrent site, because wieners-in-waiting also fondly dreaming of the Wiener of Coolness will absolutely swipe that file and upload it to their own account, which in turn gets swiped and uploaded by another wiener, and so on and so on.
That’s when it starts to matter to me financially: when I Google myself and Google suggests you get a free illegal download of my work along with visiting my website. I mean, thanks for the fucking web-hit and all, but sheesh!
Lemme sum up: I’m not against file sharing. I’ve never been against file-sharing. What I’m against is being broke and not getting paid for doing my job, and yet, like a thousand other jobs that we do for free in our lifetimes, I realize I can’t always be compensated.
And I’m good with that. Just… remember I’m a person, too, ok?