Second Star to the Right
Posted by lbdarling
And straight on ’til morning.
Earlier today I sent out what is undoubtedly my last post for a while to my mailing list. Here it is:
Dear Kind & Gentle Reader:
Unfortunately, the Thunderclap campaign for my latest release fell 28 participants short of the goal of 100. Therefore, there will not be any e-books given away at this time. I’d like to thank those of you who supported this campaign. Your willingness to help me with this endeavor is very appreciated. Perhaps we’ll have better luck next time.
I am going on hiatus for the next several months. I expect this will be the last you hear from me on this mailing list until October or November when “Mysterious Ways” and “Regret Me Not” will release in paperback. Please be aware that due to heavy piracy these and subsequent novels/stories may not become available in e-book format. That’s still up in the air but considering all of the time and effort that goes into writing/promoting/launching a single book (and the fact that I have to eat and pay bills just like everyone else) e-book format is swiftly becoming more of a detriment than a boon. Contrary to popular misguided belief, pirates don’t buy much of anything because they feel very entitled to have all they desire at no cost to them. When you’re a small indie author like me those repeated hits to the income (and the ego) quickly become too much to put up with especially in terms of the time it takes to track down pirate sites, keep up with them, and issue take down notices–most of which go completely ignored.
To that end, all e-books currently reduced to $0.99 on all retailers will return to their normal price of $2.99 as of May 6, 2015. These books include: “Genesis”, “Sins of the Father”, “Cold November Rain”, “Dream Weaver”, “Obsession” and “The Shame of Eminent Domain”.
Lastly, there are no upcoming giveaways of hard copy books, e-books, and/or swag for the foreseeable future. I hate to be a Debbie Downer but if these facts upset you please feel free to blame the pirate nearest you.
I hope you have a lovely Spring and a sizzling Summer. I’ll see you again in the Fall.
All the Best,
As you can see, I am considering taking a new course with my publishing. What you may not be able to see is that I found “Cold November Rain” AND “Sins of the Father” on pirate sites…in ebook. May I remind you that they released yesterday. There’s a very small handful of people who read either book and an even smaller one who read both. I’m not pointing any fingers because I’d really really really hate to believe that any of them stabbed me in the back this way. Oh, yeah, and, of course, neither ebook has actually sold a single copy so the ONLY way this could happen is if some trusted soul decided to bend me over without so much as a kiss first.
In fact, I found every single last MF’ing one of my books on several sites in the last 48 hours. So many, I really wanted to curl up in a ball and cry. I work my little white ass off on this stuff and this is what I get.
May I remind you that I made a whole $445.00 from my book sales last year. I spent $523.00 just in internet advertising not counting the personal appearance at NEWS–the car we rented, the gas, the mileage the cost for the table…blah blah blah. Oh, yeah, and I had to account for every red penny to Uncle Sam. Of course, if I’d made a few million I’d only have to pay taxes on the first $250,000.00 but….who cares about stuff like that?
Piracy is NOT a victimless crime, especially not at my little level. I could have used those sales. I would have had to pay more taxes on them BUT I would have felt a sense of accomplishment and pride instead of revulsion. I worked more than 35 hours a week on my books last year (writing, editing, rewriting, promoting, doing covers, making trailers et al) and I made less than $40.00/month for it. Yeah, let that sink for a bit then get back to me about how you’re ‘poor’ and you ‘can’t afford’ to buy books. There’s a place for people like you; the library. Use it. All-in-all I missed out on over $1,000.00 worth of sales last year, sales that would have boosted my ranking and visibility on sites like (the almighty) Kindle/Amazon. So I really don’t want to hear about your cheapness and the fact that you feel entitled not only to read for free but to UPLOAD my work–and that of other fine authors–to pirate sites so other cheapskates can also read for free. Or, better yet, those wonderful pirate sites that CHARGE users who may not even know they’re on a pirate site. Do you get kickbacks for that?
In any case, here’s what I think of that–ya know besides the obvious which is; Get a Job!
So, I’m taking a few weeks off to regroup but I have to say that the chances any new titles of mine will ever be available in ebook (even to reviewers) isn’t looking good. I did very well when I dropped Kindle for a few months thereby forcing a lot of people to buy paperbacks. Yes, I know they’re more expensive but, truth be told, I make only a fraction more on paperbacks (through Amazon) than I do on ebooks. So, really, it’s no big loss to me especially factoring not only the loss of income but the loss of ranking/visibility which, in turn, leads to the loss of even more sales.
If I were independently wealthy I might not care. I might even be flattered. But I’m not. I’ve said it before and I’ll say again, I’ll say it until I’m blue in the face; I have bills just like you. I don’t get a pass on having to eat just because I have some books for sale on your favorite online retailers. I don’t get a pass on the mortgage or the electric bill. If you think that 35 hours a week, 7,280 hours a YEAR is only worth $445.00….shoot yourself. Sorry. No, not really. Please, feel free to exit this world in whatever manner seems best for you. Kindly try not to stick anyone with the funeral bill or your may find your remains being taken care of by whatever state/country/province you live in. From my experience working in a law office all those years, that’s probably not the way you want to go. Potter’s Field really does exist. No one ever goes there. The coffins stacked 5 deep to a grave go unloved. Then again, in some cases, perhaps that’s just karma. If what I’m saying applied to you then you might want to think about these things.
In the meantime, I’m thinking about them hard. Real hard. My time, my work, my effort is worth way more than the 0.061 cents/per hour I’m getting out of this. That’s right 61 tenths of a PENNY per hour.
If you like my work. You enjoy my stories. BUY them.
It’s not like I’m greedy, for about six months out of every year my stories are either a whole $0.99/per e-book or you can get them FREE during events and giveaways. If you can’t manage that, Pony Boy, for the last time; Get a Job!