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Sunday, January 3, 2016

An Open Letter to My Readers (For All Our Sakes)

Dear Readers, 

The following is copied from a forum I discovered through a Google Alert (links and actual names of pirate sites have been removed--emphasis, mine): 

I was planning to go for a small trip on my holiday. So I decided to read a couple of books on my Kindle. I started searching the internet and I found a lot of rubbish websites. So I am an obsessive reader, but lately I haven't had enough time to go to the store and buy a book so I really want to know a place where I can download or read book online. I am interested in the book Charming for Mother's Day (A Calendar Girls Novella) by Gina Ardito. Thank You
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That particular title is under copyright, which means that's illegal. If you want a free copy then start with your local library. Most loan ebooks in addition to physical ones. If they don't have it then they may be able to get it for you via inter-library loan.

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You can spend the whole day looking around for pirated e-book websites, but be sure you won't find anything better than XXXXXlibrary
It's a simple and invaluable goldmine of hundreds of thousands of great e-books. Just give it a try.

Dear Readers, please don't do this. 

I do giveaways almost every month. Whenever I have a new book available, I put a call out on Facebook and Goodreads for readers to get advance copies in exchange for reviews. I give away copies to my newsletter readers on a regular basis. I'm an email away via those same channels and my website if you really, really want a copy and can't afford to pay for it. My books are generally priced lower than a price of a cup of coffee in your favorite shop and I have scads of backlist copies in my house that my husband would be thrilled to see disappear. 

What bothered me about this particular post was that the original poster didn't say (s)he couldn't afford my book, just that (s)he didn't "have time" to go to the store to buy one. This person has time to check out pirate sites and post on a forum but can't go to Amazon, B&N, iTunes, Smashwords, or any of the other places where my books are sold through legitimate channels online? The thing with these pirate sites, as writers have been shouting about for years, is that authors do not see a dime when you download from the pirates--not on the download, and not toward future sales. Your (ahem!) acquisition (because it sure as hell ain't a "purchase") does not register on our royalty reports, and therefore cannot be used in contract negotiations, even if we received the (dis)honor of "Most Stolen Book."

These days, I work a full-time job that's more than an hour's drive from home. I leave at 6:30 am and come home twelve hours later. I squeeze in my writing before work, during lunch, and for a brief hour or two after dinner's been cooked, served, and cleaned up after. I also do editing for other authors, cutting deeper into my slice of the writing time pie. What does this mean to you, dear readers?

It means I'm way behind on books I should have released this past year, and I'm struggling to find time to market the books already out there. I'd love nothing more than to have the luxury to stay home and write all day so that I can churn them out as fast as I can think of them. But as long as pirates are still stealing the money from my pockets with posts like this, I'm stuck working a full time job outside the home to keep food on the table and a roof over my head. 

For my readers who would never dream of going to a pirate site, thank you. If you want to help your favorite authors keep churning out those stories that you love, buy their books through legitimate channels. Follow them on social media and share their posts. Recommend your favorites to friends, and please, if you have the time, write reviews on the sales sites. 

Thanks for listening.

Fondly,

Gina 

Find me on Amazon! http://www.amazon.com/Gina-Ardito/e/B001JSBY16

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