I don't often bring this up, but I wanted to share just a little math with everyone. Now, the first thing you need to know is that I am the sole support for my family and writing is my ONLY job. Money does not come in from any other source.
Today, I did the pirate link thing on 30 books...that's 30 books out of about 200 books, so maybe less than 25% of my published books. Let's give a round sum here and say each book was $4.50. Now, of these 30 books, I sent out 403 take down notices...403.
Here's the math... 30 books x 403 takedown notices x $4.50...comes to = $1813.00 (and this is assuming only ONE person downloaded each of these illegally pirated books, which we all know isn't true). Now, I don't know about you, but $1813.00 will pretty much take care of my bills for a month.
People tend to believe that authors live in fancy houses, drive expensive cars, and throw money away like it grew on trees. If you're on the New York Times Best Seller's List, that might be true. Guess what? I'm not. When I have to decide between cough medicine and milk, there's a problem.
If you download a book that you did not legally purchase, you are committing a crime. You probably won't get caught because the laws have not caught up with technology, but it's still a crime. That's on your conscience.
Over the last year, I have read post after post from authors that have simply given up because they cannot feed their families while writing. I'm not saying pirated books are the only cause of this because let's face it, the economy sucks, but they certainly contribute to it.
When you go to work, you expect to be paid for your hard work. Authors are no different. We work hard. We put our heart and souls into our books. I do not believe it is too much to ask to be paid for our hard work. We have bills and families just like you do. Please give us the same respect you would want for yourself and purchase your books legally.
For those of you that do purchase your books legally, you have my heartfelt thanks.