I will have to admit that I am a pretty easy-going person. I shrug off a lot of things and endeavor to keep things extremely light on my blog. There's no reason for the constant serious rants and lectures from me on the state of the publishing industry, readers, reviewers, or any such things that involve my line of work. However, there are times when you need to step back and take a serious look at the world around you.
During the past week, I've been reading a lot of other author blogs, encountering some excellent, informational posts that I would like to pass along to you. Agree or disagree, I'm just passing along some valuable information.
This is just an ugly topic that leaves a bad taste in the mouth of every published author that has hit home with me too many times. I'm fully aware that my books are available on illegal download sites, making them available to the reader for free. I've sent lists to my publisher into to get cease and desist orders, and yet they still pop up. This is wrong, people! Both the posting of and the downloading of these books.
I think what hit me the hardest this week is a search that came up with my name in it. Someone had posted a question on the Internet asking where he/she can read my books for free.....
Maybe I'm over-reacting. Maybe this person simply needed to be reminded that they could go to practically any library and borrow my books for free and it's completely legal.
However, my gut tells me that since this person had posted the question on the Internet, he/she was not necessarily looking for directions to their local library, but a link to one of the illegal download site. This is wrong. If you're downloading books illegally, you're stealing income from the publisher and the author. You are risking potentially killing a series because not enough books have been sold despite its popularity on the illegal site. A publisher decided whether to keep or kill a series of books based on sales numbers. I may be at work, trying to create some art in the form of an escape for readers, but it's still a business in the end.
I understand when money is tight. I understand when you want to read some of your favorite authors, but there just isn't any money in your pocket. I've been there lots of times. Please, I beg you, please, go to your local library and borrow the book. You're supporting your favorite authors and the industry by doing that.
If you have any questions about piracy, about why it's so important that you don't illegally download books, please take a peek at this wonderful post by Jeaniene Frost on the topic.
2. Rating Books
While a different topic, it goes down to the same thing -- honesty. I am aware that sometimes people will rate books on the various site based on a book's cover, the price, the release date, and sometimes even the appearance of the author -- things that have absolutely nothing to do what is actually on the pages. It happens and there is nothing that I can't do about it. I've come to accept that. My one concern is when books are rated when it is absolutely impossible for them to have been read.
What should be an impossibility is actually happening on Goodreads. Burn the Night was listed on this community before I had received the copyedits. Shortly afterward star rankings appeared on the book. At that point, only myself and my editor had read the book -- no one else. I don't spend much time on this site, but be forewarned when you look at the rankings of these books as they might be artificially inflated or deflated.
For more information on what's happening with Goodreads, check out Lauren Dane's fabulous post regarding this ratings issue. For the most part, this is just a "reader beware" for users.
3. (For authors and aspiring authors) e-books are killing the publishing industry?
It's no secret that e-books have grown in popularity recently-- particularly following this Christmas season when everyone received new e-readers. People are afraid that it's going to mean the demise of the mass market paperback. I think that there was an amazing blog posting on Anna DeStefano that takes a look at the evolution of the publishing industry. I would definitely check it out.
Sorry to be so serious today, but I wanted to share some of my thoughts after watching blogs and twitter all week. I promise we will be back to our normal programing next week.