Posts Tagged ‘Stupid Web Tricks’

Something that makes me Mad – Reasonably or Not

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

So, I was checking my Google Alerts, which, it turns out, is a way to perform Stupid Web Tricks while at the same time achieving plausible deniability. It’s a total win for authors, in a passive-aggressive way that completely appeals to me. There are also some unintentional chuckles.

Historical readers may know that two of my books are Lord Ruin and The Spare. Google Alerts on these first of those two titles are quite often links to role playing boards where Lord Ruin is a favorite character name. Who knew? Or else really strange religious poems. A fair number of people seem to pray for the Lord to ruin them or something. Alerts for The Spare often end up at pages talking about spare change or the spare room or something equally silly and uninteresting to me.

Today, however, I got a Google Alert that led to a pirate-torrent site where someone wrote, more or less:

This is my first request to this board. If someone could please upload My Wicked Enemy by Carolyn Jewel I would be grateful

This post completely exploded one of my main reasons for not objecting to pirate copies of my books. Don’t worry (or do, depending) I have reasons for objecting, too. That reason is that some of my books are not available in digital versions and/or are impossible to find at reasonable prices used.

My Wicked Enemy, however, IS available in multiple digital formats and, in fact was not so long ago offered as an Ebook for $1.99. This book is also easily and cheaply obtainable in paper (but they kill you on the shipping if you buy on line.)

What am I to conclude except that this person wants something for nothing? At my expense. And I’m not talking about some amorphous lost sale of a new book.

To be brutally honest, my first thought was Lady, if you like my books, for the love of all that you hold dear, go buy my book, because I need every damned sale I can get if you want there to be more books by me.

Really. My ability to stay published is dependent on two things: 1) Writing a really good book and 2) Sales.

It doesn’t matter how good my book is, if sales are poor, my publisher, rightly, will be saying to itself, this is not an author we should publish again. And they would be right. They’re in this to make money. Trust me, at this point in my career, future books are NOT assured. At my level, every single book sold counts. It really does.

That was my knee-jerk reaction.

What I wish is that some independent 3rd party would do the study that determines whether pirating helps or hurts an industry. There are arguments made both ways and I find some of each to be persuasive in varying degrees. To be honest, the helps side seems to point to the same tired examples of the same exceptional cases and adding in that pirates won’t buy your stupid book/album/software anyway so why bother. The exceptional case, of course, with books, is Cory Doctorow, an author who 1) does NOT write romance (his market is completely and utterly different from mine) and 2) is already at the top of the author heap.

You can be pretty damn sure that Cory Doctorow must have a sweet deal with his print publisher such that he can make digital versions of his books available for free. There aren’t many authors who are going to get that kind of deal, and if they tried to insist, there wouldn’t be any deal.

It’s not like publishers don’t get that giving away books stimulates sales. Hachette gave out loads of free copies of My Forbidden Desire prior to and immediately around the release date. They don’t, however, have a constant and unending supply of free books for people.

I don’t have any answers because I recognize that I do not have sufficient facts to reach a conclusion.

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Have Laptop, Will Travel

Friday, January 19th, 2007

Tomorrow morning we head 120 miles southeast to Ripon CA for more soccer. If my son’s team wins, we stay the night for another game Sunday. If not, we come home Saturday. I have my GPS and am hardly stressed at all with respect to the once-certainty of getting lost. I’m having a hard time calculating when to leave because I no longer need to factor in getting lost. Strange. Very strange. I have the laptop ready to go in case I have some afternoon and evening time.

Yesterday, I sat in the car during soccer practice since practice was from 4:00 until too-dark-to-see-the-ball and got LOADS done. I more than exceeded even the secret minimum. For one thing, I was working on an idea I had on the way home from work yesterday and it involved a new chapter or two inserted early on. I wrote one of those in the car and after we got home and got settled etc, I fixed it up. I’ll be continuing on with that. But I also need to get my historical proposal to my agent. I don’t think I have a synopsis for it, so I need to work on that. Ick.

What else? Oh, right. This is a writer’s diary so yeah. I do have a release, Shards of Crimson and the usual review stuff is going on. As ever, people either love my stuff or hate it. There’s so rarely an in between. One review I’m not sure what to think of because it was riddled with misspellings and other language issues. I’m doing pretty well at avoiding Stupid Web Tricks, but some review links have come my way and I didn’t delete the emails fast enough. I don’t need the stress. But, just to give a flavor, one review said DX was outstanding, and another said it was the weakest of the stories. Geez, I’m stressing just writing about it. See, this isn’t good for me.

In other news, the bookmark requests have trailed off from 40 a day to 3-5 a day. There must have been upwards of 150 or more. About 10-15 people also signed up for my newsletter. I still have a few Crimson City Safety Tip Cards, so I’m still sending newsletter subscribers a free set. Quite a few of the bookmark requests were from other countries: Canada, several from Italy, then Pakistan and India to bring up the rear. No other countries that I can recall. So, why so many from Italy? Why none from France or Spain or Asia? A couple of nights my son and I sat down and stuffed and stamped envelopes.

Now, I’m going to get into bed and start on one of the RITA books. With luck, I’ll get to sleep early and then, off to Ripon.

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