Apologies for the relative silence. Between much work, politics, a lot of writing and computer troubles my head’s not been in a place where I wanted to sit down and talk about myself. I’ve also found two marvellous new series to read which kept me glued to my kindle and the knitting.
If you love suspense, check out Agents Irish and Whiskey by Layla Reyne. I was reading the second book, Cask Strength, seconds after it was released and arrived on my kindle. And I’m eagerly waiting for the third. And then, while I was wishing it was August, when the final book in the trilogy is due out, someone rec’d me a most marvellous political thriller to keep me entertained. I’ve no idea how I missed Tal Bauer’s Executive Office series, but I’ve made up for that omission now. I’m on my second trawl through the four books…
Aaaand… I’ve been writing my heart out. While The Power of Zero, Jack’s back story, was with my beta readers, I’ve been hitting Sound Judgement, Ian and Patrick’s story, with a vengeance. My planned little freebie short story just sailed past 34k words, and I don’t even mind. I’ve not had so much fun in a long time. More of that particular tale in a later post, though, because right now Jack is at the top of my list again.
For all sorts of reasons.
While I was putting the file together for the proofreader, Google informed me that The Power of Zero was now available on a pirate site. Never mind that the only complete copy of that story was in front of me on the laptop and the book won’t be out for at least another couple of weeks.
The site doesn’t have a copy of Jack’s story, of course. It’s more likely that it’s a simple (or not so simple) attempt to recruit new victims to have their computers hijacked, their files and images held to ransom, or their identities stolen. Because pirate sites, as we sometimes tend to forget, come in two flavours. The ones that are loaded with stolen books and rip off authors and their freebie-hunting customers, and the ones that are purpose-built to rip off would-be stolen-book-buyers by pretending to offer the books.
Piracy is always theft on several levels. If you download pirated books, you deprive the authors of the just reward for their hard work. And while the pirates aren’t worried about that, they’re just as determined to be “paid” for their work. Whatever you may think, pirate sites don’t host stolen books out of the goodness of their hearts. You can bet your socks that they’re in it for the money.
You don’t pay the pirates for a stolen book? Think again.
On many sites you have to create an account to download stolen books, so you’re paying the pirates with your personal information. You may have to fill in a survey – which means you’re spending your time on a task that the pirate gets paid for. Or you may have to take out a trial subscription to a service… often with a credit card which can then be hacked, or stolen or be misused.
And these are just the obvious ways a clever scammer can make you pay for a stolen book.
Worst of all? The sites that make it appear as if there’s really no barrier between you and the books they host. No account, no trials, no surveys… if I were you, I’d be running screaming in the other direction. Because you can bet the farm that the book you’re downloading comes with a few surprises. Viruses, ransomware, malware, trojans… whatever you want to call them. You’ve just paid the pirates with your laptop. At the very least.
And two or three dollars for a book is too much to ask?
I’ve been brought up to believe that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. These days, I’m even more convinced that if I’m not paying for something, then I am the product. And really, who likes to be ripped off?
If you really want my books and really can’t afford to pay for them, you don’t need to resort to piracy. Like many authors, I often make my books available free to my newsletter subscribers. It’s a thank you from me to readers who’ve liked my books in the past, but it might also help out when cash is tight. So head there, before you go and pay the pirates.