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.

 

Blog Administration, Rwanda Trip

Twelve Years…

I got a note that I had registered with Word Press 12 years ago today. If you know me from this blog, I haven’t been saying much lately. I’ve been dealing with “way too busy” on other projects – including one with a deadline I hope to meet. I’ve been doing that while fighting through writer’s block, sometimes ecstatic to get between 4 and 500 words written in a day. Even the devotionals have been a struggle, although they did show up on my Daily Enduring Truth blog. I did finish the deadline and will be submitting soon. I can get back to my main writing and editing of my devotionals.

This blog will soon be the site where I give reports from trip to Rwanda. They will be password protected while I’m over there, but it’s easy to get on the prayer list to get the daily password. Just go to my prayer list sign up and register. You have a choice of getting things in an email or a link (with password) to the blog post on this site. I will eventually unprotect those posts, but while I’m traveling, I don’t like to give out too much information. Thanks for your friendship and support. God’s blessings on you!

Daily Work

May 9 – A Little More Relaxed Day

Today was a little more relaxed, even though I was a bit later than I wanted to be with the morning devotional with a little over 400 words. After that, I worked on the homework assignment in my online class. I probably should post some of those, especially if they aren’t part of one of my books. I could have counted that as my challenge writing, but I have a story I’m working on using that challenge, so I worked on that and wrote a good chunk of that story. I didn’t get any editing done, yet, today, but I still might since it’s early still. I do need to step up my game in the editing and the short story writing!

On the business side of things, Barnes and Noble accepted my application to publish there. I’m gaining outlets, now I need to begin the process of getting my work ready for publication!

Today’s devotional (400 words) – May 9 – Grace and Truth Changes Everything

Daily Work

May 8 – Someday I’ll Get Caught Up!

I have a project I’m working on: my devotional books. Then comes a short story anthology and I say, “I can work on that.” After that, another writing challenge jumps up and drags me in. All with very quick deadlines now. Someday I’ll stop taking on these challenges so that I can finish the work I really want to do. “But it’s just a short story…” will go out the window. After I finish these stories. Because deadlines. I did get my devotional written on time today and got a lot written before I left for my chess lesson. Then, editing didn’t happen because we began the process of replacing washer and dryer. Found out flooring will need major work. Fun. But that will get done too. And I will meet deadlines. And, I will write my class assignments. A new one came on Monday, and I’m thinking hard about it!

Today’s devotional (440 words) – May 8 – I Will Be With You Always

 

Daily Work

April 19 – A Rest, Then Development

Still smarting from the writer’s block yesterday, after I finished my devotional of 582 words, I relaxed. I did some walking, some exercising, some playing and some reading, I finished The Venom Protocols by John Murray McKay. I left a short review and a 4-star rating. There were one or two issues I had with the book, but overall, it’s a good action-packed read. I continued reading through God Dreams. I walked. After a late lunch, I ran an errand trying to get some giveaways for a career fair I’m going to present at in about a week. I failed. Miserably. Then I got my haircut. Very much needed. Rolling around in the back of my mind was how to approach this time travel short story. As I came up with an idea, it fit into the online class I’m taking and I used the first page as my homework. Then, I finished another page and a few lines onto page 3. I had to add/rewrite a lot, but I’m happy with the direction the edits/rewrite is going. Oh, and while I researched something else, I found out that someone had left a good review of my first devotional book. It was nice to see that. Book 3 in the series is about ready to put online. Then I’ll go back and finish editing book 2 and the final re-edit of book 1. I have one step to finish for book 3. Then, I’ll run it through the Amazon publishing process and it will be orderable.

Today’s devotional: April 19 – Light the Lamps and Sweep the House