I’m not a big name. I’m not even a medium size name. FUCK I’M NOT EVEN COMIC SANS.
However, you guys, really. Look, I understand. I understand all about not being able to buy a book right now. I understand not being able to download something into your Kindle or Nook because it’s the wrong file type or whatevs. But for fuck’s sake, dude. REALLY? Almost everyone has a smartphone now. And if you have a smartphone, you have access to a FREE Kindle or Nook reader app. So you can buy the book. Srsly. So that’s not an excuse, okay? That goes TRIPLE if you have a tablet. Bitch, please.
If the book has not been released in your country because of censorship or because the publisher just hasn’t released it, hey, that sucks. Write to the publisher. Write to your equivalent of a congressman, if you have one. BUY IT OFF AMAZON.COM instead of Amazon.co.yourcountry. Don’t rip it off, y’all.
Of Seraphim and Cherubim is currently only available via Kindle, because I signed on for the KDP, Kindle Direct Publishing program, and I have to let it just sit on Kindle for three months. I will be releasing it for Nook soon — like beginning of March, I think. The same thing is going to happen for Glass Houses. My book is, and all of my books will be, lending enabled, because I still get paid a little bit for that. The thing with lending sites is that the books being offered can only be lent once. That’s not like what the torrent people are doing. That’s not our books being out there to be spread around over and over and over. (I know, because I’m a member of Lendle.)
But the real reason I’m griping about this is…you guys ripped off Lilith Saintcrow. You ripped her off so bad she’s not writing any more of the Steelflower series. I loved Steelflower. That was a REALLY good book. And she came to the decision that with the torrents and the piracy and the whatnot that she couldn’t afford to write any more in that series. She just couldn’t. It didn’t make financial sense for her. And I understand that, and I applaud her for making the decision that was right for her, and I don’t blame her at all.
Now pay attention, because I want you to think about something. WHAT IF Lilith wasn’t the only author who made that decision? What if all of the authors who are e-pubbed, including me, suddenly turned around and said, “Due to e-piracy, we just can’t afford to agree to e-publish anymore. It doesn’t make financial sense for us.” Or worse yet, what if the big publishers who e-pub those books said it instead? Just “Fuck you, Amazon, we’re not making any money off of this now, we’re not doing it anymore.”
Then you’re left with the likes of me, who had not been published by the Big Guys, and the very, very disturbed person who wrote Wesley Crusher: Teenage F**k Machine. (DO NOT GOOGLE THAT. What has been read cannot be unread.) And if that happened, well, I’d probably drop out too and either just concentrate on the day job, or really try to hit the indie presses, the small presses.
Is that what you want? Really? I mean, there’s Lendle. There’s hitting up friends and family, “Hey, have you lent out such-and-such yet? If you haven’t, can you lend it to me?” And trading off like that. Because we do still get paid for those. Not as much as sales, but something.
I don’t see myself — I’m not a name, like I said. I’m just starting out. I’m nobody compared to everybody else participating. This doesn’t affect me yet. YET. As many books as I have in my head, there’s always a possibility that maybe, just maybe, one of them might take off. And then more. I can hope. And if that happened…oh, man. If you have never sat down and written a book, if you have never gone through the labor of writing the first draft, sending it to your betas, fixing it afterwards, sending it to an editor, crying over the revisions, et cetera, fixing it then, and only finally when it’s as good as you can possibly make it, publishing it…don’t blow it off. Seraphim was started in January of 2012. First draft was finished May 1st. After editing, after revising, it still didn’t get e-pubbed until December. That’s a year of my life, y’all. That’s a year of balancing work, kids, husband, writing, stealing moments to write, writing things on my craptastic phone of craptasticity and emailing it to myself, that’s research, that’s translating phrases to French and then back again because my editor thought it should be in English. That’s…it’s fucking well HARD.
On top of that? It’s not cheap. Cover art is expensive. Having the manuscript formatted was expensive. Hiring an editor, because I NEED someone else’s eyes on my work, is expensive. Add in the cost where I was working on the book when I could have been working the day job, the lost income? If you add that in, Seraphim probably cost me somewhere in the vicinity of two to three grand. That is a LOT of money for me.
So when I think about someone taking my book, that I worked on and babied for a year, and just blowing my work off as if it wasn’t anything…honestly? It hurts. I work hard on all of my books. I have books waiting behind the curtain of my mind that will blow you away. But e-piracy means there’s a very good possibility that you’ll never get to meet Colm MacLir and his leman, Siofra. You may never get to meet the O’Dea Brothers as they speed through the streets of Chicago, Buffalo, and Cleveland. You may never get to know about my dragons, or my Nagyrka, proud warriors of the steppes. That would be your loss.
I know the continuing adventures of Kaia was mine.