Now, what would happen if EVERYONE went to that site on release of a book and didn't bother to pay for the privilege of reading an Author's work? The Author got nothing for spending a year writing the book. They got nothing for their research, editing and proofreading costs and nothing for the cost of the book cover artwork. The Publisher would be out of pocket for their investment on those things. The Publisher may even go out of business but the Author would still keep on writing because that's what Authors do, isn't it? They write for the love of writing...
Now, a large and mainly faceless corporation being out of pocket or going out of business... who cares, right?
But what if that 'large and faceless corporation' isn't actually large or faceless? What if that Publisher was actually the Author? Self Publishing does NOT reap big money. For the most part (as in my case) it barely makes the books balance in terms of investment - it CERTAINLY doesn't make any profit for the years I've spent writing the books.
Yes of course I would continue to write. I love writing and if I could, I would churn out a book every month but I can't do that because I need to live. You see, the Bank that owns the mortgage on my home doesn't lend out money for free because they enjoy loaning money. The shops wouldn't give me food because they stock their stores for the love of stocking and shifting that stock. The garage mechanic wouldn't service and repair my car because he's a mechanic and mechanics love to tinker with cars. You start to see where this is going?
My Publisher is my husband. WE invested heavily to get my first book, Deadlier... than the Male out in print. We also invested heavily to get my second and third books out but more than that, we've also shared that wonderful, indescribable feeling you get when you hold your printed book in your hands and rejoice in the fact that you are now an AUTHOR!
Yeah, we know, we'll never be millionaires, we'll never be able to spend money like water and we'll never have to NOT make sure we have enough money in the bank to pay the mortgage, the insurances, the food bills, the utility bills and anything and everything else that crops up month on month, expected or unexpectedly. That also means, unfortunately, that much as I really would love to, I cannot just give my work away. Hence this email:
To whom it may concern,
I have read your ‘About us’ statement and your snippet: “I agree with the 14 day loan period and I can even agree with restricting an eBook to being loaned to an individual only once but to make the eBook loanable only once-ever, that just doesn't make any sense after all, I can loan my paperback books more than once.” You don’t loan it out to the whole world though do you? That is what you’re doing with MY work, MY ideas, MY research and investment of MY own hard-earned cash to get MY projects up and running.
I have also read of your qualifications in scuba diving etc. How would you like someone to come to your class, pass it with honours and then hand out photocopied certificates of merit to anyone who asked?
I liken this site to a means for people to steal revenue from me. I write my stories so that others may enjoy them but, as much as I would love to, I cannot afford to give them away. I have to pay for Editing, Proofreading, Digitizing for ebooks, front cover images – and sometimes back cover images – and everything else that goes with getting a quality product out there. I have spent years writing my books and I had no income for that time.
You handing out MY work because you think it’s a nice idea is wrong. It’s a growing problem with the world today. “I can copy and share this work and so I will.” But never mind that it’s someone else’s effort and research that’s gone into that work, as long as YOU can copy it and hand it out, that’s ok? Well no, actually, no it’s certainly not ok.
It may become OK If you buy my work in its entirety, purchase the rights and give me a fair price for the work I did on my book. If you own the rights to the ebook, then you can go about giving it away to your heart’s content because I will have been recompensed for my work but until then, you are a thief.
Don’t steal my book - whether it’s just to give the copies away or to sell them makes no difference to me. You have stolen my work and given it away, but I am the only person entitled to do that. I wouldn’t hand over the keys to your car and let someone else drive around in it, and I wouldn’t give someone the keys to your house and say “Make yourself at home, eat the food, sleep in the beds, use the phone as much as you like...” It’s not my home to give that permission, just in the same way that it’s NOT YOUR BOOK to give away.
What a dishonest, underhand and arrogant thing to do to presume that you can give away MY work. You will NEVER have permission to give MY stuff away.
D Michelle Gent