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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

How a Fan Stabbed Me in the Heart

Piracy is out there. I know that. I could try to stop it, but in today's digital age, that's like catching rainwater in a sieve. So for the most part, I ignore the piracy. It's as faceless as I'm sure I am to the pirates and people who feed them.

But this week was different. This week, GK's social studies teacher had the class google themselves and their parents. As a writer, I have the biggest internet footprint in the family. So I was stupid enough to google myself later that night...

And I wish I hadn't done it. I stumbled across a discussion of Zombie Love in a comic book online forum. One gentleman had borrowed Blood Magick from his local library. As far as I know, it's only available from one library, the Harris County Public Library. Anyway, he LOVED it, and he was rather upset that Zombie Love wasn't available through the library because he wanted to read it NOW!

And he didn't want to buy it.

So there was a discussion on this forum of all the places he could download it cheap or free. All of which were illegal as only one commenter pointed out. This commenter also pointed out that this was how I make a living.

To my mystery supporter, thank you for standing up for me and all the other writers and artists out in the world. This IS how I pay for not just my food and rent, but my multitude of maintenance drugs for my chronic illness.

As I read the comments in this forum, I think I was most surprised by my own reaction. I wasn't angry. I was heartbroken. If he loved my work that much, why did he feel he needed to steal it?

So to my fan, I wish you had contacted me directly. I don't know your circumstances. And I know you don't mine.

If you borrowed Blood Magick from another library than HCPL, you could have contacted the library and requested that they order Zombie Love.

If you had contacted HCPL and talked to Michael, the lovely gentleman who handles the e-book department, he in turn would have e-mailed me directly about getting the book into their program.

If you had simply asked me why Zombie Love wasn't available through the HCPL, I would have been honest and told you. And maybe if you had asked nicely, I would have given you a free, legitimate copy.

But you, dear reader, chose to go a different route, and as your fellow commenter said, that's between you and your conscience.

To the rest of my fans who felt it was worthwhile to purchase a legitimate copy of my work, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

5 comments:

  1. Oh, Suzan. I feel your pain. I LIVE your pain. I wish I had just a fraction of the sales of the illegal downloads of my books. It's not just ebooks either. All my French editions in print and ebook have been pirated. My audiobooks have been pirated. Even a little children's story I wrote for one of my granddaughters and published through CreateSpace has been pirated.

    The DMCA is a joke. Web hosting companies should require the websites they host to provide legal proof that they have a licensed right to offer a book download.

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    1. I've grown a thick skin over the piracy and the bad reviews, Joan.

      What killed me were the people on the forum saying how much they loved the series before they suggested a website for downloading a pirated version.

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    2. Web hosting companies should require the websites they host to provide legal proof that they have a licensed right to offer a book download.

      Nice thought, but completely unworkable. What's proof? What kind of proof could they offer that couldn't be faked by anyone with a word processor program, or maybe InDesign, Photoshop, something like that? And making the legitimate sites cough up this guaranteed-official-not-faked proof for every single book they sell woul jack up their costs (in labor if nothing else, and as writers we know that counts) to the point where they can't make money anymore.

      Aside from the fact that if the hosting companies started policing what their subscribers do, they'd lose their safe harbor protection, which isn't good for anyone. None of them are going to do that.

      Angie

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  2. I hear you. I do Google myself periodically -- I want to see if any reviews or whatever have gone up that I've missed -- but I've done my best to train my eyes to just skim over any Google result with "torrent" in it. :/ The thieves are gonna thieve, and there's nothing any of us can do about it.

    And yeah, it always jabs the knife in extra deep to find a Huge Fan!!! who gets peeved at the idea that they might have to pay for your work. [eyeroll] Wow. Thanks. We all need more Huge Fans like that. Not.

    Angie, passing on hugs and cookies

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    1. LOL Thanks for the hugs and cookies, Angie. Usually, I succeed at the skim thing, But in this case, the forum was on a known comic book website and the sample that popped was innocuous, so I clicked. ARGH!

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