Blog Administration, books, personal

Have I Actually Made It As An Author?

This story began with another warning about a web piracy site. One of the advantages to eBooks is that they’re so much cheaper to produce and make available to the public. The disadvantage is that scammers/book pirates can find ways to make money by getting a copy of your book, and then offering it for free on a pirate site. These sites look professionally done and appear to be a great way to get books for free – after all, isn’t EVERYTHING free on the internet somehow? The problem is the authors who have poured their hearts into their books, have spent lots of money on editing their writing and creating covers, and have worked to market their books so they can make a living from the work they’ve done, don’t profit from these sites. The owner of the site steals their work and makes their money through advertising on the site.

I posted in an author site that I belong to about the problem after looking up a couple of books and finding friends in that group had been victimized by the pirate. I almost posted something about no one wanting to steal my books, because, you know – devotional books. Then, on a lark, I went to check my books. I was amazed to discover that four of the six books in the series were listed on the site. I decided that I must have really made it as an author if somebody thought it was worthwhile to steal the hours of labor writing and editing those books to promote their site. I also thought it ironic that people would steal a devotional book, designed to help them grow closer to God.

When I mentioned that I must have “made it” as an author because my work was on a pirate site to my siblings, they responded with sincere sympathy. “Even pirates like to read.” “Way to go, Bob! Nice to expand your reading audience.” “Do they pay in gold?” “Do you get to wear an eye patch?” and finally “Aaaarrrggg!!! Pirate booty gold, but you must find it with my treasure map.” Ok, maybe more joking than sympathy. That’s ok for family, I guess. I don’t depend on writing income to eat – which is a good thing because I probably couldn’t pay for a glass of water, let alone the coffee I drink while I’m writing, from my earnings. But I have friends whose living is based on their writing. Looking at my royalty schedule and the number of times that this site claimed that my book was read/downloaded, this pirate site kept me from about $6000 in earnings based on about $1 profit per sale of each book. (But, see my proviso later.) Imagine if I wasn’t retired and married to an amazing wife who makes good money. What if writing were my sole source of income, and instead of four books, I had ten, or twenty. That could be lost revenue of between $10,000 – 30,000.

The best argument against my financial figures is that we don’t know if people would have seen or bought this work if they couldn’t have stolen, er, gotten it free. I’ll admit that. I also doubt that their figures on read/downloaded are completely accurate, or I would really be a best seller if people actually bought the books. Based on one of the authors whose books I checked to see if they were on the site, it may be a phishing site looking to profit from your info. You have to set up an account. Your account includes credit card info. Something is rotten in Denmark as another writer once said. All I know is that my books were being used in a scam and all joking about “making it” aside, I don’t like it one bit. I’ll be sending a takedown notification, probably tomorrow. But it’s sick that we have to go through all those formal procedures instead of just being able to notify someone with the power to enforce that law.

If you’ve used those sites in the past because you didn’t realize that they were stealing from the authors, then please stop using them. If you continue using them now that you know, shame on you. Most authors tend to run sales or even giveaways on their books at different times of the year. I’m doing one right now until the end of June where you can go to my Bookfunnel link and get a free copy of my July – August devotional eBook. I’ll be upfront with you about it: my goal is that you will find it so helpful to you that you’ll buy the other books in the series. (Every two months.) I think they run $2.99 in eBook format. Is that two expensive? I don’t think so, otherwise I’d price it lower. Seriously, though, if you’re drinking a cup of coffee for a dollar from a chain or buying five buck specialty coffee while you’re reading each day’s devotional, the book part doesn’t seem like the expensive part of the day. Support the authors who give you hours of enjoyment by buying their books. Those authors are trying to earn a living.

 

Bird Brain Chronicles, Bird pics and story, books, Daily Work

Coming Back

Hey there! Remember me? I haven’t done my daily posts for a while. I think that the major reason is that I’ve been dealing with my mother’s death. Part of the way I dealt with her death was an attitude of “I don’t care” about a lot of things. I’m in a writing challenge and I’ve been struggling to meet my simple goal. As I struggle with doing any writing, I tend to be highly critical of what I’m doing – and part of that is because I don’t really have a plan for my writing and so I keep criticizing everything I write. I’ve given myself a sabbatical from writing my devotionals, but I finally began doing a little work on promoting the book series today. I should point out that if you’d like a free copy of my July – August devotionals, I now have a book funnel account so that I can give it to you freely. If anyone wants to help me out by going through the process of downloading it and making sure that everything works ok, I’d sure appreciate it. The bookfunnel link is here: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/4nw47oq9cd If you’d like to leave an Amazon review, that would be cool too, but I’m not expecting you to do so. You are welcome to share that link if you find the book helpful to you.

Another part of my problem has to do with the animal kingdom: we now have a dog. We thought she was a year old when we got her, but the vet said she was about 6 months old. She’s been a hand full! She’s as sweet as can be, but she’s also annoying. This week has had some extra challenges because my daughter is taking her delayed honeymoon and we’re watching her dog. The dog that used to live with us when she did – which is why we wanted a dog. So now we have a 14 year old grumpy lady chihuahua and an 8 month old baby girl chihuahua. Only, the baby gets distracted when we take her outside. Then she comes in and wets the carpet. Or worse. Today’s been extremely tough on that front, with me needing to clean up between five and ten messes.

Perhaps I should mention all that’s gone on since I stopped posting regularly. I stopped after my mom died. Then we had her memorial service. After that, my daughter got married on March 16. Then, we traveled to Florida to celebate my wife’s graduation ceremony as she finished her requirements for an EdD. degree. She now lets me call her “Dr. Wife.” And finally, my wife and I just observed our 40th anniversary. So, I’ve been busy. And I haven’t been writing a lot. But it’s time to get back to the work of writing and photography.

I realized the photography angle today when I had the dogs outside. I heard the familiar thump of a woodpecker. She was on the utility pole thumping away. I ran inside and got my camera so I could take a few pictures. I couldn’t choose which of these two to use, so you got both. This is a golden fronted woodpecker and she’s been in the area for a while. My plan is to get back to more photography in days to come. I’ve missed doing that. I’ve missed sharing my pictures with y’all. So, maybe I’ll take a day or two each week, make some egg salad sandwiches, and spend some time taking pictures and sharing my adventures with you. Tomorrow, I’ll probably share some pictures of the Painted Churches of Schulenberg that we saw while we waited for the final alterations on the dress my wife wore as the mother of the bride. Anything you want to know about South Texas (that I can photograph) just ask in the comments.

 

books

Daily Enduring Truth books on Sale!

If growing spiritually is one of your New Year’s Resolutions, then I have a deal for you! The Daily Enduring Truth eBook for January – February is on sale for $0.99 until January 5! The paperback version is on sale for $4.99 for the same time. You can click on the picture and it will take you to the Kindle page for this book. Oh, and the other eBooks in the series are only $1.99. The paperbacks are all $4.99 until January 5. Check it out!