Ever since Half-Blood released early on the Kindle and Nook formats, I've been getting one to two google alerts a day, notifying me of sites that have pirated versions of Half-Blood.
I'd prepared myself for this moment as much as I'd prepared myself for the scathing 1 star review, but I don't think I could really prepare myself for the anger of being pirating days after an early release. And when I say pirated, I mean it's practically on every site. Each having dozens and dozens and dozens of downloads.
Worse yet, most of them have comments like, "You're enjoy this book. It kept me up at night!" Uh, thanks for the great review. How about paying for it next time?
But I lied. That's not the worst part. The worst part is that my book is not even OFFICIALLY released yet. Yep. You read that correct.
Everyone knows what book pirating is. And I really hope everyone realizes how many people you're hurting when you click on that download link or upload an ebook. Contrary to popular belief, most authors aren't extraordinarily wealthy. We all don't get 6 figure advances and roll around in our money all day. We live off our royalties. If we are that lucky.
In our instance, the most shocking part of all of this, the pirating copies were E ARCS. It's easy for the publisher to tell due to how e books are formatted, protected, and by the changes made after the ARC. Every copy we've found (and reported) were all E ARCs. So someone who requested an advanced reader copy of Half-Blood, someone that my publisher trusted, actually pirated it. And I am sure that "somebody" is several "somebodies". That is really a kick in the junk.
And maybe the people who are searching for free copies of Half-Blood will find and read this. You're actually taking money from me. Not only are you taking money from me, you're taking money from the editors, the agents, the publicist and the publisher. This is not an easy business. One sale is a huge thing. Now multiply that one sale by HUNDREDS that were pirated in a FEW few days.
That's like you slapped me in the face and kicked my dog.
I spent YEARS writing that book. It wasn't like I threw it together and sent it out to the world. I've shed tears over this book: good and bad tears. Went through hope, loss of hope, rejections, edits, revisions, copy edits, first proof pages, tears, laughter and so many hours I can't even begin to count. There is A WHOLE team of people who put their life into that book.
You're stealing from all of us.
And most importantly, you're stealing from other readers who PAY for their books. There has been countless authors who lost 2nd and 3rd book deals because their book was so heavily pirated that they didn't get enough sales. Publishing is about making money. It's hard to do that when there's 10 free copies floating around on various sites and being uploaded.
Pirating is not a victimless crime. You think you're just downloading a book. Big Deal. Right? It's a huge deal.
If you can't afford the book, go to library. If you're library doesn't have it, request it. If you don't have a library, the book is only 3.99. And if you can't afford 3.99, then you shouldn't be able to afford the internet that you're using to download the book illegally. That's the truth. There has been many times in my life I couldn't afford a book. Guess what? I didn't buy it until I could. The argument that people can't afford a book and that's why they download it is total bunk. You can't afford that shirt you saw in the store. Did you go in and steal it? Or did you save up money to buy it? If you stole it, then well, we got bigger problems then pirating.
Treat books with respect and realize the amount of people you are harming by pirating them.
On a side note: There will most likely be no E ARCs of Pure and any book in that series due to the pirating of the ARCs. Unfortunately, the publishers have to protect their investment and I understand that. It sucks.
And in closing: Thank you to all the people who have bought the book with their money. You rock my socks, yo.
EDIT: Like Mindy said in the comments. There needs to be better laws protecting authors and publishers. Especially since only one site has actually responded to us and taken it down.
EDIT 2: The lovely Pam posted about pirating too over at her website. One thing I want bloggers to know is that none of you should feel ashamed. One or a handful of bad apples don't spoil the bunch. You guys respect books more than anyone else.
Also one pirated book is as bad as a 1000 in my opinion. But that's me!