I’m surfacing from beneath my mountain of schoolwork to say a few words. I’ve just learned Like a Thief in the Night was pirated and made available on a free download site. I’ve notified the administrators of the site and requested removal.
I suppose I should feel angry or something, but mostly I am just hurt and disappointed. I make plenty of material available for free. I like writing. I want readers to enjoy what I write. I have always appreciated it when writers provide free stories online, so I do the same. Pay it forward and all that.
This is why I am so disappointed to see the one and only story I have ever sold pirated. Right now two thirds of all Bettie Sharpe stories available to readers are free. I would appreciate it if instead of pirating the third story, people spend the $2.80 or $3.50 to buy it outright.
That’s less than the price of a latte.
My royalties from Like a Thief don’t pay for my tuition, or my school books or my health insurance. I can’t quit my day jobs. One day I’d like to be able to make a living on my writing, but I know the realities. My chances are slim. However, the fact that I actually have made money on a story–a story that still sells a few copies a month–gives me hope.
I like romance readers and the romance reading community. My experience as both a writer and a reader has been overwhelmingly positive. I believe the pirating of my novella was an abberation–the act of one inconsiderate individual amidst a veritable ocean of decent, honorable readers.
I don’t think my words here will influence that one person to change her mind. Mostly, I just wanted to give a clearer impression of exactly who gets hurt by piracy. The answer would be me: a woman in her early thirties who works two jobs when she isn’t in school. A woman who loves loves to write, and dreams of one day being able to make a living doing what she loves.