I’ve been a little quiet lately because I’ve been a little depressed about something. I’ve been working every day, so my sadness hasn’t affected my output thankfully (and, hopefully, A Knight to Remember will be out tomorrow, depending on how the final edits go today!). But I’m an honest person, and I’m also pretty open about stuff, so I thought I would share with you what’s made me sad.
A lot of people pirate my books. A lot. At Rose and Star Press, we purposefully make certain that every file we put on sites like Amazon, Smashwords or Barnes and Noble is not DRM encrypted. What does that mean? That basically means that if you pay for our books on one device, we want you to be able to put that book on any other device you want, so the book itself is shareable. Now, of course, this is a double edged sword (and I know that making books DRM encrypted doesn’t even protect them then). Making the books shareable means that people who purchase the books can then, of course, immediately put them on pirating sites.
It’s a universal problem with eBooks that, of course, there will be people who pirate them. And I know that, essentially, there’s nothing I can do to stop anyone from downloading an illegal copy of my books.
But I can certainly ask you to please reconsider doing so.
My lifelong dream, ever since I was a kid, was to be able to share my stories with the world. When Natalie and I opened up Rose and Star Press, we were ecstatic. Here was the opportunity to make a difference in the world. To put out good, beautiful stories about women who love other women, and gradually open it up to a genuine publishing company with lots of opportunities for lesbian authors.
The les fic community is very small. The people who pirate my books come to this blog and read it.
So I’m asking you to please…don’t pirate my books.
I work very, very hard on my writing. I spend months of my life on each novel (in some cases, years), and I agonize over every word, making it as perfect as can be. But it’s not just that. I’m a living, breathing, feeling author who needs money to put food on the table. I’m not a rich person, though I really wish I was. I don’t have a “normal” job…being an author is the only way I make money. And every time a book of mine is pirated, that’s money out of our food budget for the month. There are some months where paying our bills is questionable. We, thankfully, always manage to just squeak by. But it’s very hard when we’re having a difficult month to see how many people find this blog by searching for pirating terms, how many people upload my books to torrent sites.
It makes me feel sad, defeated and small.
I’m a really positive person, but I’ve been sad about this for awhile, and I wanted to try to turn it around if possible. We’ve been having a hard month, and I’ve been stressed about money. So instead of being upset that people are pirating my books…I thought I’d try to do something positive about it.
If you honestly, genuinely do not have the money to purchase one of my books–please email me. I will send you the book that you wanted to read, free of charge. I know that, sometimes, there are people who pirate eBooks because they’re poor, because they want something good to read and a lot of libraries don’t exactly have a booming lesbian romance section. As someone who has money struggles, too, I know it’s heartbreaking when a book comes out, and you can’t read it because you don’t have the money to get it. I get that. I understand it.
So please don’t pirate my books. If you can afford to buy them and pirate them: I ask you to please, please, please reconsider and buy them instead. I want to tell these stories, and I love telling these stories. Please support that if you want to read them. And if you can’t afford to purchase my books but want to read them…please just tell me, and I’ll make it happen.
The lesbian fiction community is small and wonderful. It’s full of really good people who band together, who support each other and who support putting more wonderful romance full of strong women who love each other out into the world. Like me, every single author out there is a living, thinking, breathing, feeling person who has tried, so hard, to write a good book that you’d enjoy. If you want to read those books and support that by paying for them, we can keep doing the thing we most love to do: write stories that you love.
Thank you. 🙂
Edited to add 9/20/15: A lot of teens have been emailing me lately, telling me that the reasons they were looking to pirate my books is that they aren’t yet out to their parents, and by buying/checking a lesbian book out of the library, they could get into horrific trouble and their safety would be in question. I understand so deeply. I underwent horrific physical/mental abuse in my teen years (I came out when I was fifteen) by my parents and was made homeless at the age of eighteen because I was a lesbian. The story of my early years is very hard and very sad, but what this means is that I empathize, deeply, with what you are going through. If you are in this situation (or anything like it), please email me, and I will send you any book of mine that you want. I want you to have access to stories that make you smile, that uplift you and help you escape the harder moments. That’s why I write what I write, after all. 🙂 ♥