I came across the following post on the web on a site called ebook-forums.org, a website that trumpets in its header: “Get Free eBooks! With us, your virtual library is complete.”
“Some book requets (sic)
Hello, I have been trying to find these books, with no success, would you please be able to see if you are able to find them. Many thanks:
This was my reply.
This is Rosie Fiore here, author of Babies in Waiting. I occasionally google my name to see if I have missed any reviews of my book, and your post came up. I thought I would take this opportunity to introduce myself, so you could meet the person you’re planning to steal from. I think when people download illegally, they do it because they can kid themselves they’re stealing from The Man… from a faceless corporation, or from a multi-million-selling artist who wouldn’t miss the few pennies of royalties. I think it’s still stealing. My thinking is that everyone else in the world gets paid for their work, and I’d quite like to get paid for mine.
Maybe you think I’m a rich, glamorous woman who swans around my big house, then lies on a chaise longue popping choccies into my mouth, dictating to Sven, my gorgeous assistant while he types up my latest masterpiece.
From the list of books you were hoping to steal, I’m guessing you’re a mum. So am I. I’m now married but for the first half of my writing career, I was a single mum. I’ve always been a working mum too, so I have always had to write in the evenings and weekends, after I’ve worked a full day and looked after my children. I wrote four novels over nine years. It took me that much work, and all that time to get first an agent, and finally a publishing deal in the UK.
Maybe you still think I’m rich. I did a little calculation and worked out roughly how many hours I’ve spent writing, editing, revising, selling and promoting my work, and then put that against what I’ve earned from my books so far. My hourly rate is around £3 an hour. Less than half the minimum wage. Don’t worry; my children don’t starve, because I also work as a freelance copywriter. The week my book came out, I sat in a windowless office in a warehouse in Walthamstow and wrote descriptions of glue dots and Velcro strips. That’s how glamorous my author’s life is.
I think the thing that upsets me the most about your post and this whole forum is that on the whole, ebooks aren’t expensive. My book is on special on Amazon at the moment. It costs £2.99. Half a packet of fags, if you will. A third of a film ticket. A pint in a cheap pub. Or if you’re so skint you can’t afford that, you could borrow it from your local library for free, and they would pay me public lending rights.
If, after all this, you’re still after a free copy of my book, please do message me. I’d like to invite you around to my house, so you can look me in the eye as you take a copy of the book off the shelf and walk out with it. It’s what you’re asking to do here, so have the courage to do it honestly.
One monkey, one typewriter, seldom Hamlet.