posted on Friday
It’s simple, really. I know people try to make it complicated, but it’s not.
If you want the books–the high caliber submitted-chosen- edited-professional books–to exist in the first place, you’ve got to contribute to the writers who create them and the publishers who put them out there.
That means buying the books, not taking stolen freebies off the ‘net.
Oh, everyone’s got their reasons for taking. Some are philosophical, some are tangled with the frustration of the floundering emarket as it tries to find good working business models, some are pure entitlement. Some have no thought behind them at all, but just want.
The thing is, those reasons don’t matter.
The bottom line for me is the same. You’re stealing from me. You’re making it harder for me to buy food while I write the next book. You’re enjoying (I hope) the fruits of my labor without offering anything in return.
The bottom line for you is the same, too. You’re making it harder for this business to find its way through a world of changing technologies. You’re narrowing what the publishers can afford to offer you. You’re pushing authors out of the business and putting publishers closer to the edge.
Do you think it doesn’t matter, in these days when publisher/retailer/device provider squabbles are big news? When new authors/new series have no leeway to build an audience, but must perform out of the blocks? When established series stutter and die, already tangled in distribution and warehousing issues? You’re wrong. It matters.
You may not care. You may say, “Hey, throw the ‘net open to whoever wants to put their work out there! That’s the way it should be, and then we can read it all!”
But hey…are you paying attention?
Because I am. And I’m more than just a writer, I’m a reader. I’m as greedy as any thief, in my way. I want more than any old book–I want good books! I want to see my favorite authors survive and thrive and have the chance to write what their heart tells them to write.
Because you see, whether or not my own work is published, I’ll always write. You can’t take that away from me. But my opportunity to read the kind of amazing work that’s produced by stable publishers supporting the mature brilliance of a writer so driven that s/he’ll do this work with the discipline it takes to reliably turn out a book worth savoring? That, you can mess with. That, you have messed with.
Oh, yes. You matter.
Please stop stealing my books.