Monday, January 20, 2014

A Quick Blip on Pirating


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Pirating is a majorly occurring (and accepted) act nowadays.  It has gotten to the point that half the time, you might not even be sure if you are watching a "legal" copy or pirated copy of a film.  And I will admit: I never saw the problem with it before.  (Aside from the fact that it is in fact illegal...)

Then I self-published my first book.

And found pirated copies of it.

I had never imagined people would pirate digital books.  That might have been naive, but it is true.  While movies never offended me (they have already made back all their money plus some in theatres, right?) the idea of people "stealing" books and giving them away for free just blew my mind.

And made me angry.  Like, Hulk angry.  Smashing and all.

Which is why I am finally giving in and rambling away in this blog post.  I know I have already written a small post on this topic before, but it is obviously still on my mind.  So here we go.

You might be of the same mindset I was in about pirated movies.  They have already made (and most likely still are making) their money.  Why can't we as the public enjoy the art now, for free?  It is art, dang it!  Down with commercialism!  Trust me, my mindset hasn't been far from yours.

But when it comes to books, especially independently published books, I cannot agree.
Now, bear with me.  This is my point of view, as an Indie Author.

  • My book has not been given a budget of some x-million dollars before it was ever created.  It was not funded at all.  It was created in my home, a midst raising my children, cleaning, cooking, living a normal day to day life.  It was created in the dark, with only my eyes seeing it for the majority of the time.  And there was always that chance that after creation it would be tucked away and denied its existence, meaning all those hours I spent on it were for nothing.
  • I was not given an advance.  Now, being as I only know as much about the traditional market as I have researched or been told by other authors, I can't dive too much into this.  But I do know that sometimes (most of the time?) an author can be given an advance once their book is picked up for publication.  Yet even that is no where near what you might assume it is.  And as an Indie: We get nothing.
  • I make only a portion of my sales.  Believe it or not, I am not raking in the moolah.  I am still getting started, and might not see a significant income for years, if ever.  I chose to set my ebook at a low price because yes, I believe everyone should have the chance to read it.  It is art after all.  But that means I get an even smaller income from each book sale.  And on months when sales dip low, I make pretty much nothing.
  • If I want any sort of publicity, ads, graphics, editing, etc...I have to either do it myself or pay someone else to do it.  Which means more money out of my hand.  And where is that money coming from?  Book sales.  If they are happening.

All those movies you have seen about authors, who are slightly insane, bent over their keyboards, barely scraping by on bills and rocking empty food cupboards and seldom shaving, honestly are not too far from the truth.  We writers are a strange breed.  We allow ourselves to wallow in disrepair, all for the sake of this world in our head that we cannot ignore.

We need your support.
Not your piracy.

I am all for sharing copies you have paid for.  Books should be shared.  Amongst friends.  Not ripped off and posted on illegal sites for all to be had.  Share your paperbacks.  Your hard covers.  Your lendable ecopies.  Find the giveaways, the times authors set their book to free for a limited time.

It might seem like a small thing, downloading a pirated book for free from some random site.  But that is one less book sale this author might be needing badly just to get paid at all that month.  That is one less paid support telling the author "I believe in you."  And honestly, that is one more slap in the face of someone who has chosen to do this insane art.

So take up the challenge and promise your authors today:
I will not pirate books.

We thank you, from the bottom of our creative hearts.





Monday, January 13, 2014

Time For a New Year

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This might be two weeks late, still...
HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I hope each one of you had a great holiday season, an amazing New Year welcoming, and are on some sort of right foot as 2014 begins.  I have been working hard on getting everything in my life back in order.  (It is amazing how much a move can throw everything into the blender and spit it out.)  I am finally feeling like I have my feet on the ground, and I have decided it is about time to come back.

So here I am!
*cheers for self*

To start off my new blogging year, I thought it would be nice to share some of my 2014 goals with everyone.  Note: I am not calling these resolutions.  Why?  Because resolutions never happen.  You set them...then wander away.  These are goals.  Meaning I am aiming to accomplish these.  Some I might not.  Some might change as the year changes.  But I need focus in my life, so these goals have been made.  Ready?


  • Blog again!  Boy, have I missed this blog.  Over the last year or so, I have fallen away from it and that is just not okay.  So I have set the goal to blog again.  I am still trying to figure out the best schedule to try and stick to.  I used to have a three day schedule (Mondays were random posting days, Wednesdays were WIP update days, Fridays were review days.)  While I loved that schedule, I feel like it needs to be tweaked a bit.  If any of you have any ideas or suggestions, please do email/comment/tweet them my way!
  • FINISH LJ.  I know, I know.  I have said this many many many many times.  But I mean it this time around.  I have been dragging my feet on it, for various reasons.  It has finally come down to the point that I need to either A) Finish it or B) Put it away and move onto one of my other WIPs.  I have been trying to decide if I should share my hesitations about LJ or keep them nicely to myself and just keep chugging along.  Either way, you will be hearing more about it very very soon.  (Thank you to everyone who keeps cheering me on with this!  Your rooting gives me hope!)
  • Bedtime.  I am notorious for staying up well past midnight, every night.  And boy am I paying for it!  The zombie that is Jenni nearly every day is a sore reminder that I am indeed closer to 30 than 20 and I need to change some habits.  So from now on, on weeknights, my hubby and I have set a personal bedtime of 10 pm.  Wish us luck.
  • Move it.  As in: Exercise.  Again, not a resolution, so there is a chance this will happen.  Enough said.
  • And last but never least: Read.  I read a dismal amount of books in 2013.  It was truly quite sad.  This year, I need to read.  I am on my third book of the year, and amidst all the other goals above, I will be reading away.  Got any good recommends?  Share them!


There are more goals, but those are the top five.  My life has been lacking balance and focus lately.  I am honestly hoping this will get me back on track.  I miss blogging.  I miss reading and writing and yes, even editing.  So here we go.  Bring it on, 2014!

Do you have any personal goals for the New Year?  Any suggestions for any of mine?  Do share!






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