I Wasn't Going To Say Anything, But...
...the author world is getting ridiculous with drama in 2019.
There, I said it. And now that I have, grab a cup of coffee and settle in...because I'm about to get opinionated.
I've sat back and watched things unfold over the last couple of months. Seems like every week it's something new. And I'm not saying that it's about anything trivial or that it's pettiness that should be dismissed. The issues that are coming to light are serious and absolutely need to be addressed. The redhead in me is pissed about what it is we're addressing.
Ghost writing scams. Plagiarism. Illegal downloads. Thievery.
When did it come to this??
When did it become acceptable to take from someone, to threaten their livelihood (or even their reputations) because you're too cheap to buy a book? These people will pay $5 for a Starbucks but can't - or won't - spare $2.99 for an ebook, because they feel they should get it for free?
When did it become acceptable for readers to demand - often times directly from the author - to get the books they want for cheap? Or free? When did it become okay for people to think that authors are not human beings, ones who are working to make better lives for themselves and their families? Instead, it seems we are here to please the entitled masses of the "I want it free and I want it now".
That doesn't fly for me. So, let me break this down for you, here and now.
For the most part, we're all adults in the book world. Which means, people should know better than to steal from anyone, but in this case we're talking authors. But for those who don't, I'm going to explain adulting to you. You might want to grab a pen and paper and take notes.
For the readers:
1) Get a job. Any job. Mow lawns. Work at the grocery store. Earn some money.
2) Create a budget for said money. One with entertainment expenses included. This is where you include money for books.
3) Spend your book money wisely. Kindle Unlimited is $10 a month. You get 10 books at a time. If you're a fast reader, you can get a lot of books out your $10 a month.
4) If you're short on entertainment funds, go to the library. I work at one and know FOR A FACT that libraries offer ebook services and paperback loans. Hell, part of my job is borrowing books from OTHER LIBRARIES for my patrons to check out. And you know what? IT'S. ALL. FREE. FOR. YOU. TO USE. You just have to sign up for a library card. The library has already spent the money from the budget (meaning the author got paid) for their patrons to have these services.
5) If you can't or won't utilize the library or manage your funds as an adult should, then damn it, don't - I REPEAT, DO NOT - steal from from authors. Just because you don't want to spend the money in your pocket does not give you the right to take money from theirs.
For the writers:
1) If you're in it for the money (and by this I mean the book stuffers and those churning out crap or recycling manuscripts, trying to make fast cash off the backs of actual authors), do us all a favor and go away now. Get yourself a day job and make your living that way. Yeah, it's not the easy, lazy way of making a buck. Welcome to adulting. It sucks at times, but we all have to do it. You may as well join us.
2) Don't call yourself a writer if you don't actually sit down and do the work of putting words on a page. It's a slap in the face to those of us who do.
3) Don't steal from those of us who put the time and effort and money into producing books. It pisses us off. You may not hear it or see it from everyone, but there are those of us who are seriously pissed off, with enough exposure to make sure the message is heard. See Nora Roberts and Suzan Tisdale as examples 1 & 2.
To those of you who think it's perfectly acceptable to take, or even give away, something that's not theirs, SHAME ON YOU. You obviously weren't disciplined enough as a child or taught the difference between right and wrong if you think this is anything close to okay. Even my own children, who are teenagers (with those teenage brains that sometimes make strange decisions) even know better than this. When they hear about the stupid shit like this that adults do, they look at me with the equivalent of "what the hell, Mom? What's wrong with them?"
My teenagers get it....why don't the freeloaders and thieves??
I could keep going but I won't. Common sense falls deaf on ears that don't want to hear it. And I don't want to waste my time.
So, I'll just close with this. To my author friends, the ones I know that works their asses off, day after day after day, to put books out there for the loyal readers who believe in paying for their work...
I stand by you and believe in you. Times are tough and often times discouraging in the author world right now, but damn it...you did something many can't. You wrote a book. You created stories and characters and worlds out of nothing. You're an f'ing rock star. Don't let the jealousy and idiocy and low morals of others get you down.
I know we will all fight together against having our words and livelihoods ripped from our keyboard scarred fingertips. Because we're authors - no matter the genre - and we know we're worth more than this. We deserve more than this. And we won't stand for it any longer.