I have something to say…

I’m about to say something, and I hope it’s not a controversial subject. If it is, you need to examine why you think it is and then ask yourself if you’d be okay with it happening to you.

This morning I finished a new book, and we were talking about self-publishing it. That got me to thinking, especially after John Inman got a complaint from someone who was upset with him because they got a virus from downloading a pirated copy of his new book.

When an author self-publishes, many times they pay an editor to look at their work. Now, most editors I know charge by the word. This book is 80,000 of them. If I multiply that by .007 a word (the going rate from my editor), that will come to $560.

Now, add in a cover and you’re looking at $50-$100 or more. I’m going to just split the difference and we’ll call it $75.

Then, if I want to get the story out there I’m going to contact a tour company to help me. That charge is about $100.

So, before my book is even out, I’m already spending $735 just to put out the best book I can. And you know what? I’m okay with that, because I want those who read the book to enjoy it.

Then, within hours of hitting publish, you’re going to find my book on any number of pirate sites. Somehow, pirates don’t think what they’re doing is wrong. They think that books should be free. But the point here is it’s NOT free. Why would I pay $735 out of my pocket so YOU can read something? Oh, and let’s not even take into consideration the time it took me to write the thing. There are no dollars per hour minimum wage here. It’s whatever an author makes, and that’s it. If a book doesn’t sell well, that person could lose everything they invested getting the book out.

So please, explain to me how piracy isn’t wrong. How it’s victimless. How authors are ‘privileged’ when someone reads their stolen books.

Because honestly? I just don’t get it.

You want free books? Go to the library. They pay for copies and the author gets his or her royalties. Keep an eye on Amazon for freebies. Join a legit service that offers books in exchange for reviews.

But please, for the love of fucking god, stop stealing my mortgage payment. My car payment. My grocery money. My tax bill.

Anyway, thank you for taking the time to read this. It’s been gnawing at me today, and I figure if I didn’t say something, I’d explode.

by Parker Williams

Parker writes m/m fiction where happily ever afters will require work to reach. He loves broken characters, hurt and healing, pain and comfort.

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