It really is that simple

ETA:  I want to make it clear…I’m not interested in opening a dialog with people who feel it’s okay to steal my material.  I’m not interested in establishing a dialog with people who don’t understand/respected my copyrighted work. Not here.  Not on my blog.  If you want to email me-feel free.  My email info is on my site.  But post your commentary here about how my ‘work’ was put to the ‘public’ and I can’t call it ‘mine’ anymore and don’t be surprised if I delete your post.

be warned…ranty ramble ahead.

Here’s a thought for those who think pirating is okay, found from another author’s site-it was on Patricia Brigg’s site, written by her husband, I believe.

However, authors can’t survive if their work is distributed far and wide for free, particularly since ebooks are becoming the preferred format for many readers.

It’s that simple.  If I can’t survive writing, I don’t write.  I go back to nursing.  If my way of living or my kids’ lives are impacted by the loss in income, I go back to work, which means I won’t be writing much, if at all once I meet contract deadlines.  As much as I love to write, I love my family more and I will not work full time and write full time any more.  My family deserves more of me than that.  Writing for me would likely be all or nothing because if I go back to work nursing, it’s a job that drains me physically and emotionally and there won’t be anything left to pen stories.

It’s that simple.  Somebody implied authors need to look at all their readers as their ‘bread and butter’.  Well, if you are stealing from me, why should I?  You’re not providing that bread and butter, so why should I?

I write for a living, and my writing is what lets me provide for my family,  so we kind of rely on it.  If you’re stealing from me, if you’re taking what is MINE-and the stories ARE MINE-I own their copyright, I own the characters, I own the stories-if you’re taking what is mine, I will not look at you as my bread and butter.  I will not really look at you with much respect period.  If you cannot respect my work, my right to make a living, my property, you can’t really expect it in return.

If you’re a pirate and you like my work, and you are out looking for more, wondering why I don’t have as many ebooks coming out, I can tell you part of the reason is the person you see in the mirror in the morning.  If I can’t justify the time and the expense I put into my work-and yes, there’s quite a bit of expense, then I don’t do as many ebooks.  It’s that simple.

My stories are MINE.  I created them.  They wouldn’t be out there if I hadn’t put them out there.  I don’t post them for free, which means to read one, unless you have a legal (and dare I say-ethical and moral) right to read them (ie: you bought, a friend gave you a ‘legal’ copy-as in she didn’t fileshare, you checked it out from the library, etc) then you’re violating my copyright, you’re impacting how I make my living, you’re taking something you have no right to.

Taking something you have no right to is stealing.

When you pirate-you steal.  The idea of ‘sharing’ is actually rather ludicrous because you can only legally share what you own-and since you’re not me, you don’t legally own my copyrighted work, which means you can’t legally share my books.  Sharing a print book isn’t the same as sharing digital files-print books are just ONE copy-you can’t make ONE book turn into ten thousand.  But with ebooks, you can.  When you do, you’re not sharing. You’re violating copyright laws, you’re illegally reproducing copyrighted works.  When you download pirated copies, you are stealing.

Is the current copyright law outdated?  Yes.  Do copyright laws and technology need to meet up? Yes.  But copyright laws have to continue to protect creativity-that’s why we have them-because writers, artists, singers, songwriters, etc we work harder when we know our work is protected.  Having it stolen is a violation-it bothers me.  A lot.

Some people seem to think copyright laws need to be done with all together.  But ask how many writers would continue to write without having their work protected-you’re not going to find a whole lot of yeses from those of us that write for a living.  You can’t do away with those laws-the laws need to catch up to technology, but it has to do it in a way that still benefits the writer/artist/etc as well as the consumer.  If there’s no benefit for the authors, there’s no reason to do it.

Without the financial incentive, a lot of the talented writers you see out there will not continue to write.  What you’ll have is work that is put out by people who may well put a whole of heart into a story, but who says it’s a story worth reading?   Is the author talented?  It’s going to be a gamble.  There won’t be editors picking and choosing, because there won’t be editors, either, because editors don’t work for free, either.  You’ll probably find books with a lot of gaping plot holes, typos, inconsistencies, poor plotting, poor pacing, etc.  And you really can’t complain, either, because the writer put it out for free and you’re not really giving her any incentive to improve her skill.

It really is that simple.

However, authors can’t survive if their work is distributed far and wide for free, particularly since ebooks are becoming the preferred format for many readers.

Again, it really is that simple.  You want my respect?  Then respect my right to earn a living.  Otherwise, you’re wasting your time.