06 October 2010

Answer to a pirate post

There's a discussion going on on a certain pirate site right now that just raised my blood pressure this morning. In said discussion, the pirates have decided a few things about authors protecting their copyrights. Among those...

1. It has nothing to do with copyright and everything to do with the money.

2. None of them are profiting from our work, and none of them are claiming our work, so copyright has nothing to do with it.

3. There's nothing wrong with them wanting to have "what everyone else can have."

4. We're just selfish people that want paid for every copy when the recognition of people loving our work should be more than enough for us.

5. They should just not talk about us and not share us, because that would teach us a lesson.

My first thought is that sometimes it IS about someone else claiming our work, and sometimes it's about someone else SELLING our work, which offends me because it's cheating my readers, something these people should appreciate and not attack. And sometimes it's even about them taking money out of a charity's pocket instead of mine, which offends me on so many levels, I can't begin to quantify them.

There are many reasons we fight infringement, and not all of them have to do directly with the money involved. Some have to do with the "defend it or lose it" part of copyright. If I don't call it where I see it, I weaken my standpoint when I do defend it. Because, clue arriving for the pirates, you don’t have to profit monetarily from infringement or fail the attribution test to infringe and be on the wrong side of the law. Copyright covers all manner of infringement, including what these pirates admit to doing.

But yes...sometimes along the way, it's about the money. That money pays for bills in my house. Want to know where my royalties went to this month? Buying GROCERIES. Paying for my son's SURGERY. Getting CLOTHING for my children and husband. Buying myself a new pair of shoes, since the old pair had holes in them...the only money I spent on myself. How selfish of me, right? Hardly sounds like I'm buying yachts over here. When my husband was out of work, I paid the MORTGAGE one month with my royalties.

No, there's nothing wrong with people wanting to have what others have...if... If you aren't infringing or stealing to get it. Then, yes, it's very wrong. Because, let's face it, this isn't about the lesser of two evils. No one's child is going to starve to death for lack of a loaf of bread if a pirate doesn't get the ebook he/she wants to read. The only "tragedy" involved is that the pirate doesn't get to read a particular book. Hardly life and death stuff.

Now, I will state firmly here that I do NOT appreciate the way NY Conglomerate works. They allow this discontent, because of the way their bundled foreign rights work. Some countries, like Oz, cause more discontent with their laws about book selling. If they just did what indie press did and made books available in ebook from day one worldwide, a lot of these people wouldn't be so damned hostile. I'm on THEIR side about changing things. Same as I was on their side about access to books they personally purchased. Thank goodness the courts agreed with that point!

But there's no excuse for infringing on those that already bend over backward to accommodate them. My books are available worldwide on day one, in a variety of formats and most without DRM. My books are priced reasonably. My books are available on several legal sharing platforms. All of the things they complain conglomerate doesn't do for them, I do. Which leads me to...

I never said I wanted to get paid for every copy. If I did, how could I support the LEGAL sharing systems out there? I do, which means these people are clueless, at best, and self-centered creeps probably. Hey, I call them like I see them.

Let's see them work a job and not get paid for it, because someone else thinks the recognition should be enough for them. Let's see their kids go without, and then we'd see how they'd like someone calling them names for wanting a little remuneration along the way for their hard work. Because, believe me, this is work.

They don't know me. They know nothing about me. I have nothing against one person sharing a copy or two with friends or with Amazon's built in sharing...or Nook's... What I DO have a problem with is them sharing hundreds or thousands of copies at a shot. That's not friendly sharing. That's piracy, and that's what [this pirate system...I won't give them the benefit of me advertising for them] does. If they can't see the difference, they don't want to see the difference, and that's just says they aren't people I really want to associate with, in the first place.

Personally, I would be very happy if they decided to stop sharing my work. It would save me a lot of time I could be writing new stories to be enjoyed by those that I do want to associate with.

05 October 2010

Bad Writing Advice...

A friend on a Yahoogroup came on with what he felt was the worst piece of writing advice he'd ever heard, but it didn't sound bad to me...just incomplete.

The advice he thought was bad advice? “Don't worry about your audience, just write for you. It sounded good at first, but it really isn’t good advice at all!"

My answer? "Actually, that's NOT bad advice, IF you take the following into account with it. There is a market for everything. Those markets are larger or smaller, but they exist. You can write what you want to write and then seek out the correct market for it and sell it there. That means making the conscious choice to make less money on some works, but it is your choice as author...be happy with what you write and seek the audience for it OR write to the market and shoot for the bucks, even if you are personally less satisfied with what you write."

So...topic for discussion? What other "bad writing advice" have you looked at and said, "That's not bad advice. It's just incomplete or badly framed?"