Let’s talk about piracy and how it seriously hurts authors.

Princess here. Zazzle wasn’t around when this happened, so I’m taking the reins today.

Piracy is the act of someone stealing something from someone else and puts it online for others to pay for or freely get. (The human has been hit with both.)

Once upon a time, the human released two books at one time: Shadowed Flame and Karma. Karma doesn’t have a book two because of this incident. Shadowed Flame doesn’t, either–and won’t. And yes, the female had been considering continuing Matia’s story if the book had done well.

Neither did well, and it had nothing to do with them releasing on the same day.

It had everything to do with pirates.

You see, some mean spirited human stole both books, put them online before their release day, and spread the books around. Why buy something you can get for free?

That’s exactly what happened. Neither book had decent sales. At all. Their sales were, flat-out, terrible.

And it was traced to a single act of piracy.

When you steal a book, you aren’t stealing from some big, bodiless entity. You’re stealing from the author you claim you enjoy reading.

You’re a big fat liar if you claim you like the author or enjoy their books and steal from them.

You’re not just a big fat liar, you’re a thief.

When a book is priced $2.99-$9.99 on Amazon, the author is paid 70% of the royalty (with a small cut for transfer fees paid out to amazon.)

For the sale of discussion, let’s assume a $2.99 novella has been stolen.

Here’s the math: $2.99 – $0.08= $2.91. The $0.08 is an estimated transfer fee, which is pretty average for my human’s books.

Of the $2.91 left, 70% royalty is then paid out to the author. That’s $2.037. For simplicity, we’ll say $2.03.

For every pirated copy downloaded, that’s $2.03 stolen directly from the author.

But, I can hear you now, crying in the background, you claim you wouldn’t have bought that book anyway!

Newsflash: That doesn’t make stealing work right. If you wouldn’t have bought it, don’t read it. Stick to books authors choose to willingly give you.

Don’t steal. Stealing is wrong. If you think you’re owed anything from an author, let me phrase it this way for you:

Do you deserve to be paid when you go to work? Or should your boss just take your hourly wage away from you because ‘he wouldn’t have paid it anyway if given a choice.’

Entertainment is not a right.

My human worked hard on her books.

You can’t afford a book? All right. Here’s what you can do.

Go to the library with a list of books you would have stolen, hand your list to your librarian, and say, “Can you please order these books by these authors?”

When purchasing books, librarians take into consideration what their patrons ask for.

Most books nowadays are available in the digital library. It’s a free service to you.

Authors get paid. (Because libraries have money, and they handle paying for the book for you.) Also, sometimes authors donate books to the library.

So, please do as all a favor.

Value authors.

Value artists.

Value musicians.

Value the people who make you happy.

Pirating their books just tells the world two things: you’re a thief with zero care of the consequences of your actions.

Because of the people who pirated the book and the people who continued the chain of thefts, a series remains unfinished (and won’t be done for a while, as the human female is still exceptionally bitter over how a bunch of thieves ruined a part of her career.)

See this number? As of today, this is how many piracy reports (DCMA complaints) my human has successfully processed through a program called Blasty, which makes it harder for thieves to find copies of her books.

All of these are verified thefts of her books.

Let’s play with the $2.99 sales price for a minute. (News flash, 90% of the books listed here sell for $4.99.) That’s $19,845.28 in lost money… assuming only one person per link downloaded.

My human checked once. Playing with Fire alone had 2,000 downloads from one popular pirate site.

That’s almost $7,000 stolen from one link.

There are almost 10,000 links up there. I’m sure you can handle that math on your own.

Stop stealing books.

You’re not hurting a big publisher.

You’re not hurting some marketing genius.

You’re hurting my human. You’re hurting other hard-working authors. (I don’t care if they’re traditional or independent. They get hurt, too. And they deserve to be paid.)

That’s money she should have rightfully earned from putting in thousands of thousands of hours learning how to write and writing books for your enjoyment.

Stop pirating shit you don’t own, please.

You’re hurting the people who make you happy.

You’re stealing. It’s no different than if I walked into your home and stole books off your shelf. Those books have a value.

So does my human’s books.

And don’t feed us the line about how art should be free.

No. Art is not free. Art should not be free.

Artists need to eat. Artists deserve to eat. Artists deserve to be able to go on a vacation after busting their ass to make you happy and entertain you.

No, piracy isn’t a digital library. It’s theft.

Stop stealing from people. First, it’s wrong. You wouldn’t want me to go in and put my paws into your bank account and take your money without your permission, would you?

So why do that to me, my sister, and my humans?

That’s exactly what you’re doing when you steal books online.

It’s theft.

To the thieves out there: If you want to read a book you can’t afford, go to the library. That’s what they’re there for.

Or, you know, go to Amazon and sort by price and download every free book you can get your hands on. Sure, it’s not the exact book you may want, but the author willingly gave that book to you. That’s not theft.

Stop stealing books. You are not entitled to them for free, and all it makes you is a thief.

If you want free stuff, follow authors. Many do things like free giveaways. (Here’s one for a prize pack of Alice in Wonderland themed stuff.) Get subscribed to bookbub. That site will send you discounted and free books every day. (Mostly discounted… because free books end to be a loss for the author. But at least those are legitimate sales and you’re not hurting the author.)

You can follow my human on bookbub for updates on sales, releases, and so on using these links:

RJ Blain

Susan Copperfield

Bernadette Franklin

Following the blog (inserting your email to the right-side menu box on desktops and down at the bottom of this page on mobile devices) is a pretty good way of following what the human does and know of the latest sales.

But here’s a brief update on the human and what she’s been up to:

Playing with Fire and Requiem for the Rift King (Box Set of 3 books) are both $0.99. Both will remain at $0.99 until further notice.

(Don’t ask what the Furred & Finned Management thinks of people who steal a $0.99 book.)

Hypnos is up for preorder for $5.99. (This is a 12 book series with 1 prequel series. There will be one other series in this world but it will follow a different character sometime after the completed events of Seeking the Zodiacs.)

Storm Called (Royal States Novel by Susan Copperfield.) This is Pat and Jessica’s fun little how they met, and it’s up for preorder for $4.99

Shammed (Bernadette Franklin) is a humorous love story of a prankster getting pranked available for preorder at $4.99. Alice was first introduced in Claustrophobic, and this story contains the entire Carter family.

Oh, and just because I can… these are just some of the latest batch of pirates doing their thefts.

Fuck you, pirates. You’re scum.

(What? Did you think we’d be thinking NICE things about worthless thieves who don’t value someone else’s hard work and effort? Please.)

Go to the fucking library so the authors get paid.

Here’s an example of just two thieves stealing our human’s books again. As quickly as we get them taken down, thieves put them back up.

To the nice people who are not thieves: thank you for your support. We very much appreciate it. Because of you, we can keep writing.

If you’re waiting for Karma or hoping for another Matia story… go get mad at the thieves who stole the books and pissed in the pond for everyone.

And yes, this is why my human no longer offers any ARCs to readers.

Please do not ask the human about ARCs. They are not offered to anyone.

(We like to eat.)

Leave a Comment:

Isabel says February 4, 2019

good for you, Princess! You tell those pirate creeps what all the folks who love books (and the authors who write them!) think of them!

JenM says February 4, 2019

I’m sorry if people have been sending you nasty messages about this post. I thought you were crystal clear that your rant was directed at people who download stolen books from pirate websites and NOT in any way directed at your legitimate readers. Either the pirates (and that includes ANYONE who downloads from a piracy site) don’t understand that this is theft and they are directly stealing money from you. Or, they just don’t care.

Lisa Potvin says February 5, 2019

I don’t blame you one bit for your rant. You work hard and you don’t deserve pirates taking whats yours!!!!! I am so sorry this is happening to you and other authors. I am not one of those that took offense to your email. I was getting angry for you! I wish there was more that could be done to stop these a******s ! Still a friend and fan ! I am on your side!!

Mary says February 5, 2019

I am also sorry that there were readers who did not take this well; it was crystal clear to me that this was a) directed to the pirates and b) a serious issue for you. You and the kitties stick to your guns.

Eileen Troemel says February 5, 2019

Good for you! I’m an author too and it is so hard to keep on top of all of these. As it is, I don’t make enough to sustain my household solely through writing (that’s the dream) and every penny helps towards that goal. It isn’t harmless and it isn’t a victimless crime.

I love your posts – love the cats input and conversation! It’s one of the few newsletters I actually read.

Casey says February 5, 2019

It’s very obvious the piracy comments were directed at the thieves. Those people who decided to be offended and send you nasty replies are idiots. Jerks that steal people’s hard work suck and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent, and severely scratched.

E_ says February 5, 2019

I am very sorry to hear you have decided not to continue those series. I enjoyed the start and have reread them often. Logically I understand you have to make business decisions and those who pirated made a huge negative impact, but my inner reader is sobbing away in the corner over what might have been. Thank you for letting us know not to expect more and the reason why.

    The Sneaky Kitty Critic says February 5, 2019

    License to Kill (the book following Karma) will be written. It just won’t be written quickly. The one that I was going to do after Shadowed Flame did get the permanent boot, unfortunately. It just isn’t fiscally possible at this point. That might change if it does exceptionally well during a sales promotion or something like that, but I really have my doubts that will happen. It’s too fringe.

      Isabel says February 5, 2019

      Matia’s story may be fringe, but I bought it because I try to buy all of your books. After I read it I was so glad that I did! I’m sorry that people have stolen from you, either directly (by posting it for sale) or in a secondary sense (by buying a pirated book). What I’m glad for is that you haven’t let this stop you from writing! Thank you for that.

      E_ says February 7, 2019

      Thanks for the reply!

Jennifer says February 5, 2019

#@*”@ thieves!

Thank you the information on this.

Susan E Aceto says February 6, 2019

I was horrified to read that this is so common. There are so many authors that give books away that it is just morally (and financially) wrong to steal. So very sorry that this is happening and looks like it is very hard to stop. Just a heartfelt thank you for your gifts and I do preorder when I can. You have every right to vent and have done a very good job of telling it like it is.

Leia Bentancur says March 4, 2019

I agree that all work should be paid for. I have purchased almost all of your other works. Unfortunately, I did not purchase two of your books (shadowed flame and karma) before because they lacked sequels. I’m the type of reader who will read as much as possible of one storyline in a current sitting. I’m very impatient with how the story “ends”. Until I clicked on your website and found out why I was waiting for the series to finish. I’m upset on your behalf as people are generally assholes who feel entitled because they exist. Art is not free. Starving artist is not a cliche, but can and does happen when their work is stolen from them. I hope that you continue writing stories that make you happy. I enjoy reading them. I also just purchased both books on Amazon 😄. I honestly dont know how you have the time to write as much as you do and still post and advertise your works. Thank you for your voice.

    The Sneaky Kitty Critic says March 4, 2019

    I *hate* leaving a series unfinished. I’m a completionist, so things will get completed (unless I expire early… but I’m 35, turning 36 in May… so hopefully I have time to get all the things done!)

    Shadowed Flame is a standalone, so there won’t be a second book–I’d been thinking about it, but it didn’t sell well enough to do a spinoff story with those same characters. That story is a complete entity. Pack Justice and Karma will have second books done, however. In the case of Karma, there’ll also be a collection of side stories. If time and earnings allow, I’m hoping to knock both out next year, but I’ll have to see. 🙂

Loredena Frisealach says March 26, 2019

I’m one of your readers particularly upset by the pirates because I generally don’t read shifter books, and my fav books by you (other than the romcoms) are Shadowed Flame and Karma, as well as Water Viper, so am quite sad you didn’t sell enough to justify sequels 🙁 Perhaps a kickstarter for them at some point?

    The Sneaky Kitty Critic says March 26, 2019

    Water Viper is getting a sequel later this year. As soon as I’m done the next two books I’m currently working on, it will be my main project. <3 Eventually, I'll get to the second Karma book; I miiiighhht try to fit it in at the end of the year when I'm working on Wild Wolf.

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