Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sharing sites, torrents, free reads, free uploads, freeloading or" What can I get for nothing?"

If you have ever read any of my blog posts, you know by now I speak my truth with a precise focus. This post will be no different. My topic today is the notion amongst readers of any genre (it seems that it's prevalent in the romance category) that free reads of some sort are expected. Hey, I know money is scarce. I live in the same economy you do. But if you got something to download a book onto, well... let's just say that I don't think you are worrying about how much data plans cost. Look, I know that folks will do as they please or as they feel they have to. It is not my job to wag my finger all Governor-Jan-Brewer like in your face. But a writer has to eat! Plus my other job is to hip you to something that your Mama may have failed to tell you: there are no free lunches!

Number one- I write stories for publication for a small but prominent press in the romance industry. I, we, who submit works get no advance. Only giant publishers give out advances, and unless you are a heavy-hitter, they are quite small. So no one at my press receives money upfront. The publisher takes on our work because they feel it's good and believe it has potential to SELL. Key word here, SELL. I love writing. I love eating too and paying bills. I even hope to earn a living from writing one day.

Number two- As much as I love writing, it takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to create books. Now I know it looks easy 'cuz everybody and their pet rat is pooping out a book nowadays (and some do stink up the place) but I assure you I do not produce a book that easily. Which circles around to the blood, sweat and tears thing. I invest a hell of a lot of time, effort and thought into my books. Soooooooooooo, I DO NOT, DO NOT, offer free reads. If you have a book of mine and you didn't pay for it, you got it as a prize in a contest, or from a "sharing" site, or from a torrent site or from a friend. And the worse of the worst: downloaded it from an e-bookstore, read the book and then returned it and asked for your money back. Which is plain triflin'.

You may ask, "Who does she think she is? No free reads? Even Stephen King offers free reads. Eff her." Well, Huckleberry, Mister King may offer them but Mister King is also a millionaire. He can afford to offer free reads. See it this way. If you want something to eat in a restaurant, do you ask the owner to let you have a free meal first and then maybe you'll buy one later? Thought not. Do you ask your dentist to fill a cavity for free first and then if it's good you'll pay he/she for the second one? Thought not. If you live in a nation with socialized medicine, ignore that one. Those professionals do not roll that way. Neither do I. Why do I take that stance? Because I've observed that "free" for some reason is not respected or deemed worthy and leads to just more of a "give me" mentality. Sometimes a free thing is not always good though. This trend started with "cheap" or "discounted" ebooks to spark a reader's interest. Then it changed to $.99 cents. And now stuff is free.  Nope, not my ish. Professionals do not give away their services. I am a professional. See the progression? Where do you go from "free" anyway? Maybe pay the reader to read a free ebook? That may not be that far off. I've seen the quality of some of those free reads. Yeah, I said it. Bad writing. Bad grammar. Bad editing. No editing. No plot. You get what you pay for. Or in this case what you didn't pay for. If you load up your Kindle with free, badly-written ebooks, you'll begin to think that the crap you downloaded represents the quality of ALL ebooks, which is not true. So, it's up to you. So keep trolling for free, badly-written shit and then piss and moan about how terrible it is. Keep visiting unethical torrent sites for that book you heard about but don't want to shell out a few bucks for. But much better, help an author out and BUY a well-written read. I believe in the giving and receiving rules of the Universe. I give by writing. It's your turn to give and you'll get so much in return.

 A famous quote says, "All property is theft." I wouldn't go that far but I do believe piracy, in all its forms, sure as hell is.

ps   I apologize if you live in a country where getting stuff to read is next to impossible. This post is directed toward those who don't have that problem, those who don't value others' work and can purchase anything but perpetually look for the freebie.

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