Thursday, October 14, 2010

Online Pirates Steal $35K from M. Kei

Tonight I was Googling for Pirates of the Narrow Seas looking for new reviews, new booksellers, etc. What I found instead was a pirate site. I'm not going to share the ID with you because I'm not going to help people steal from me. Suffice it to say, this pirate site has served over 33,000 -- that's thirty-three thousand -- unauthorized copies of Pirates of the Narrow Seas. Had each of those 33K copies been purchased through a legitimate ebookseller, I the author, would have received approximately $35,000 in royalties.

Yes. You read that right. Online pirates have cheated me out of my livelihood. I have been hoping I could sell enough copies to make a living writing books. That so many copies of the books have been pirated is proof that I was right -- I could have made a living. If the pirates were paying for them. But they're not.

Guess how much I have received in royalties for ebooks so far: $35. That's thirty-five dollars. In other words, a thousand time as many copies of the books are being stolen as are being bought.

That just aint right.

So here I am, unemployed and slowly going broke, contemplating the prospect of having to apply to Walmart or some other retailer to get a seasonal Christmas job so that I can make some money to hold body and soul together a few months longer.

You know what happens when creative people have to devote all their time and energy to working at Walmart? They don't write books. Because Walmart chews us up and spits us out.

Here's the deal: if you like books, pay for them! The ebooks for Pirates of the Narrow Seas are all available for less than $7 each. That's less than the cost of a single movie ticket for three times as much entertainment. I think it's a fair deal. If you like the books -- and I think that you do, because it would be ridiculous for 33K people to steal a book they didn't even like -- please pay for them.

Heck, I know most of you don't know anything about me, so I made the first one available for free right here on this site. You can read an entire novel, my gift to you, by honest means. You don't have to use a pirate site. My hope is that if you like what you read, you will buy the additional books in the series. That's the deal: I give you a fair chance to find out if you like the books, and if you do, you give me a fair payment for the book.

If you have an unauthorized copy of Pirates of the Narrow Seas, please come clean and purchase a copy. If you really can't afford the $18 for a paperback or $7 for an ebook, or feel that the book's just not good enough to justify the cover price, send me a $1. Because the average royalty for the books is $1 (some resellers pay more, some pay less. $1 is the average.)

Send it anonymously to:

PoNS c/o M. Kei
P O Box 516
Perryville, MD 21903

There. You can purchase a clean conscience for just a few dollars. Paying authors for their creative work is not only the right thing to do, it's cheap.

If you love reading, please support authors!


M. Kei

1 comment:

  1. I have bad news and good news, Kei.

    The bad news is that you are right, someone, without authorization, is making your books available.

    The good news is that the stats are pure hogwash. I looked up other books, including mine, on the site you ran into, and every book had exactly the same number of downloads line for line. It's a number they put out to make themselves look successful.

    You will never know how many really were downloaded. It is sad but true that less than 2% of novels ever earn more than $500