Sunday, June 2, 2013

I didn't win the lottery last week, dammit...

So please don't STEAL MY BOOK! I have to pay bills like everyone else!!!

Yes, this is going to be a sort of rant, since when a book that's out for less than 48 hours appears for "free" someplace it shouldn't be, the author (that would be me) gets a tiny bit pissed.  Like most of my peers, I have Google set up to ping me if they find my name anywhere online. (i.e. "George Clooney escorted the ever-ravishing Sahara Kelly to the LA premiere of his latest film last night, thus confirming rumors that these two are an item. She was stunning in a heavily beaded lace gown by Donatella Versace that clung to every curve, much like George himself." Or things like that.)

[Let's all take a moment for a big sigh, shall we? Dreams are the duct tape that holds some of us together. LOL]

Anyway, back to the rant. I followed the Google link and found my book, offered for FREE, folks. That's like no ka-ching for Sahara. No extra pennies to set aside for that next convention, or the power bill. Guess which will get sacrificed first?  Yep, unpack the suitcase. It's the first time I have seen this happen so rapidly after a book's release. But this ain't my first rodeo, and I am well aware that probably every damn thing I ever sweat blood over is out there for free someplace. I figure I have as much chance of stopping that kind of theft with a voodoo doll and a sharp pin as I do with a DMCA takedown notice. So I try and ignore it and focus on the wonderful people who DO buy my books, by making sure every one I release is the best it can be.

Over the past couple of years, since I've been self-publishing (and loving it, btw) the subject of DRM (Digital Rights Management) has cropped up. Now like many people, I'm kinda fuzzy on this stuff. On the surface, it would seem that protecting my work and guarding my copyright would be a good thing. It should mean that people who post it for free are TRULY BREAKING THE LAW. And I can shoot 'em dead, right? LOL (Kidding. Kneecapping will work fine.)  However, I've seen more than a few comments from readers that the DRM system - and I guess it's the Amazon one - is "annoying, unwieldly, etc".  In other words, not a good thing for readers.

Urp. The horns of this dilemma manage to shove themselves right up a writer' plot lines. Do we enable DRM and do our best to protect our babies as we send them out into the wild jungle that is eBook World? Or do we go the other way and send them out stark naked so that even more readers can easily handle them and play with them,  although we run the risk that they'll be abused?

I honestly don't know the answer to this. I've read long and impassioned arguments from both sides of the fence. I don't really sympathize with people who believe that everything on the Internet should be free. (If so, why can't I shop without a credit card, huh?) It seems that perhaps there's some confusion over digital content versus traditional content. A paperback book goes from hand to hand. One person to one person. An eBook can be emailed to a hundred thousand people at once. I can't see that there's any kind of parallel there, but that's just me. I'm a dumb writer who simply tells stories, apparently.

So here's the bottom line... I would LOVE to hear from READERS please, you honest-to-God wonderful people who buy books because you like to escape into other worlds/times/places. If you would like to leave me a comment about this whole shebang, I'd really appreciate it. Tell me what you think, if you care either way, if you've found DRM a pain in the bookmark or never noticed the damn thing?

Because YOU are the people who truly count when all is said and done. Your opinion matters, each and every one of you. Whether you're a Kindle or a Nook or an i-Anything reader, give me the skinny on your take? If it wasn't for you... well, I'd be on a helluva lot more meds. LMAO

Thanks for bearing with me....