Book Review & Giveaway: After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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Book Review & Giveaway As part of my BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge, I’m giving one lucky book-loving reader a paperback copy of  . . . After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid About the book: When Lauren and Ryan’s marriage … Continue reading

Book Piracy: Good or Bad?

HUMPDAYLOWRES

HUMP DAY BOOKS
“ON HUMP DAY ABOUT BOOKS”
FIRST POSTED ON WEDNESDAY, JULY 16, 2014
TOPIC: BOOK PIRACY

Q: What day is it?

A: It’s Wednesday. Hump Day. Halfway to the weekend. Woo-Hoo! Great day to talk pirates. Book pirates, that is.

pi·ra·cy
ˈpīrəsē/
noun
  1. the practice of attacking and robbing ships books at sea
(image source: teleread.com)

(image source: teleread.com)

Book piracy drives authors CRAZY – and for good reason. Imagine you’ve worked hard to write, edit, publish, and market a book and then lo and behold, you find someone’s taken that book and is distributing it for free and without your permission. It’s maddening.

Or is it?

Maybe it’s the cost of doing business. Maybe it’s an uphill battle to fight and your time is better spent either writing or marketing and not fighting the pirates. Maybe it’s a good way to reach new readers.

I don’t know. I don’t have an opinion. (I know, I’m lame.)

So rather than take a stand on this topic, I’d like to foster conversation about “the practice of attacking and robbing ships books at sea.”

What do you think?

Here’s my input – some questions to guide the conversation, some helpful tips, and links about the topic.

But first!

A shocking video that demonstrates all books are vulnerable – not just ebooks, but print books as well.

BOOK FLIPPING SCANNING – video by IEEE Spectrum

Everyone’s Caught Up in the Brouhaha
This topic reaches all levels of the book industry with everyone having to weigh in as evidenced by this Scribd Responds to Writer Beware on Pirated Content article by Calvin Reid published in Publisher’s Weekly on January 9, 2014.

What Others Are Saying
There’s lots of threaded discussions all over the internet about this topic. Here’s a discussion that began a year ago on Goodreads and is still going on . . . Goodreads Author Feedback Group Discussion: Websites that give free downloads of ebooks.

And here’s a list of posts written about book piracy at Huffington Post.

(image source: authormedia.com)

(image source: authormedia.com)

All Those In Favor Say “Aye.”
This New York Times May 9, 2013 article by David Pogue: The E-Book Piracy Debate, Revisited was so thought-provoking it attracted 145 comments from its readers.

Read How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Ebook Piracy by Cecilia Tan, Founder/Publisher, Circlet Press, on dbw May 23, 2011.

And this from Aliventures: Why Writers Should Fear Obscurity, Not Piracy

Here’s A Question
Does anyone know anything about Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike licenses? I’ve heard some authors are intentionally using these licenses to distribute their work to a wider audience. Learn more at creativecommons.org and then come back and tell us what you think. Good for writers? Bad? It depends? I’ll bet you’ll find this a useful site for finding music and artwork in the public domain that you can use to help promote your books, but what role does this type of license play in the distribution of your titles if you’re wanting to build an audience?

Here’s a short list of books added to the creativecommons.org wiki – which means more exist – these are just the titles typed into a wiki list.

(image source: wheelercentre.com)

(image source: wheelercentre.com)

Those Opposed Say “No.”
Top Ten Reasons People Use to Justify Pirating Digital Content (And Why They’re Wrong) by Rob Hart August 31, 2012 on Lit Reactor (heated debate in the comment section).

thebattleagainstbookpiracyThe Battle Against Internet Book Piracy: How Writers and Publishers Are Fighting Back and What You Can Do If a Victim by Gini Graham Scott, Ph.D. (June 17, 2013 pub date)

It goes without saying there’s an implied economic cost to authors and publishers when books are pirated. You may believe some readers were never going to buy the book – but many of them might have. Consider the impact in this E-Piracy: The High Cost of Stolen Books article by Karen Dionne on Huff Post Books – The Blog. At one file-sharing website, users have uploaded 1,830 copies of three books by a popular young adult author. Just one of those copies has had 4,208 downloads. On the same site, 7,130 copies of the late Michael Crichton’s novels have been uploaded, and the first 10 copies have been downloaded 15,174 times.”


Want to Find Pirated Copies of Your Book?

Set up a Google alert with “your name” + “the name of your book”. Or “your name” + “free book” or “free ebook”.

Search for new uploads around the time of the first appearance of a pirated book. Pirate sites canvas other pirate sites so you may witness what feels like a flurry of uploads all at one time.

Here’s a list of the Top 10 File-Hosting Sites from the bottom of a Publisher’s Weekly January 18, 2010 article: Study Finds Massive Online Book Piracy. The study is a bit dated, yes. But the list is a good place to start looking should you want to find pirated copies of your book.

(image source: xkcd.com)

(image source: xkcd.com)

Here’s Another Question
If you try to protect yourself from piracy by enabling DRM (digital rights management) do you frustrate readers?

The Pros and Cons of DRM by Shelley Hitz, published January 14, 2014 on TheFutureOfInk.com is a great beginner article for understanding the issues behind this permanent decision when uploading your ebook.

So what’s your take on all of this? Leave a comment – your comment can be linked to your website so that your recent blog posts appear beneath your name and folks can click through to your site. Pretty cool, eh? I believe in building strong online communities.

Share the love! If you found this blog post helpful, I’d sure love it if you’d share it with friends. Social media buttons at the bottom of this post – nifty, eh?

But most of all, have a snazzy Hump Day.
Wednesday – halfway to the weekend.
Woo-Hoo!

Thanks for reading! To return to the FICTION WRITERS BLOG HOP click here: http://www.julievalerie.com/fiction-writers-blog-hop-july-2015

Guest Post: Sand Between My Toes by Eileen Goudge

What I love about today’s guest post:

It features a dear friend of mine, Eileen Goudge, and a turning point in her life when she was trying to decide whether to indie publish her next title, or stay with traditional publishers. Eileen is a New York Times bestselling writer. Not counting her YA titles, Eileen has written 15 women’s fiction titles (worldwide sales of roughly 6 million) so the decisions she was making while walking on the beach (the subject of today’s guest post) were quite profound for her.

But that wasn’t the only decision Eileen was struggling to make.

What if she crossed over to a completely new genre, too?

You may remember my talking about my friendship with Eileen and my recent trip to hunker down with her and four other writers at her beachfront writing retreat in California – during the very time she was exploring this new direction in her writing life. I allude to it briefly in this recent June 18th “Pizza, oh pizza, I love you.” blog post where I recap a pizza party we all had during BookExpo America in New York City.

Eileen is a wonderful, warm person that loves interacting with other writers and readers. After this guest post, please leave a comment for Eileen. I know she’d love to say hello.

Bones and RosesEileen’s latest novel, BONES AND ROSES (first book in her new Cypress Bay Mystery series), releases August 5th and is available for preorder HERE.

Be the first to read this new title by this accomplished author. And won’t it be fun for you, as a reader, to know a bit about the inner life of the writer just before this book was written? Order your copy today. You won’t be disappointed!

Enough from me – this is a guest post, for heaven’s sake. I’m supposed to be quiet!

Take it away, Eileen!

Eileen authorSAND BETWEEN MY TOES
– guest post by Eileen Goudge

It all began with one of life’s simple pleasures: sand between my toes.

I was strolling along the shore, in my hometown of Santa Cruz, California, pondering my next career move. I needed a change. And it had to be drastic. Like many authors who cut their teeth during the golden era of traditional publishing, I was feeling the seismic shifts brought by the expansion of the digital world. Earlier in the week, I’d received a much-needed kick in the butt from an author friend who’d made the leap from to traditional to indie publishing and was reaping the rewards.

Now I had to decide if I was brave enough to take a leap of my own.

Career-wise, I was like an adult child still living at home. I had “Mom” (my publisher) to do my “laundry” and “cook my meals.” There was always someone on hand or behind the scenes to edit, design book covers, come up with and execute a marketing plan, deal with all aspects of distribution and the bulk of publicity. One day I found myself looking around at all my colleagues who’d taken control of their own fates. I felt like a spongy old cabbage. I also felt stymied. I was known primarily for women’s fiction, and that’s what editors and publishers had come to expect from me. But I wanted to step outside the box, flex my muscles a bit, see what else I could do.

In short, I was frustrated and running low on inspiration.

That day on the beach I asked myself a simple question, “What would you write if it was just you and your laptop?” Leaving aside dire predictions from traditional-publishing diehards and my own fears concerning sales and rejection. Like how it was in the beginning before I was published.

The answer left me stunned. I wanted to write a mystery. I’ve always been a fan of mysteries, dating back to when I used to read Nancy Drew under the covers at night by flashlight (the reason I needed glasses, my mom used to say), and many of my women’s fiction novels have elements of mystery and/or romantic suspense, most notably THE SECOND SILENCE and WOMAN IN RED.

“No way,” piped the VOR (voice of reason) in my head. “What about your readers? Won’t they be disappointed?” The VOR went on to point out that competition was stiff. I’d be entering a field so crowded you could fill a few football stadiums with all the mystery novelists out there.

Thankfully the voice of my Muse would not be stifled by the mutterings of my VOR. On that day, during that soul-searching walk on the beach, my Cypress Bay mystery series was born. My amateur sleuth, Leticia “Tish” Ballard, came riding in on the waves in a half shell, fully formed. I couldn’t ignore her. She wouldn’t allow it. She has a mouth on her. She’s persistent, too.

“Okay, okay, so shut up already and I’ll do it,” I told her. Then went back to my desk and got to work.

I live in New York City, but spend a month each winter at a beach house in Santa Cruz, CA, generously provided by my sister, Karen, and her husband, Miles. I hole up to write for days on end, interspersed with long walks on the beach and inspired by breathtaking ocean views. At night I’m lulled to sleep by the sound of waves. In no time my batteries were recharged and my mojo was back.

By the end of that month-long sojourn I had an outline and the beginnings of first draft for what would become Book One of my Cypress Bay mystery series, BONES AND ROSES. I was channeling Tish and loving every minute of it.

Becoming my own publisher was another story. Many sleepless nights and days of nail-biting later, I now have a handle on it, I think (judging by the fact that my stomach is no longer in knots 24/7). And for the parts I can’t handle on my own, I have professionals. I also have my wonderful, warm, generous indie author buddies who’ve guided and encouraged me every step of the way. I even have a first draft for Book Two in the Cypress Bay mystery series, SWIMSUIT BODY, which comes out in 2015.  Below is a brief description of BONES AND ROSES, which debuts August 5th (digital only) and is currently available for pre-order.

From home invasions to cheating spouses, Rest Easy Property Management owner Leticia “Tish” Ballard thought she’d seen it all. Almost four years sober after flambéing her real estate career in an alcohol-fueled blowout, she’s finally in a good place in her life when the discovery of skeletal human remains rocks her world and plunges her headlong into solving a decades-old crime. Now she must delve into the darkness of her own past, including the one-night stand gone horribly wrong with Spence Breedlove, who happens to be the lead detective on the case. When the truth comes out at long last, Tish finds herself pitted against an enemy who will stop at nothing in a fight for her own life.          

I hope you enjoy it. I won’t be offended if you don’t, and I’ll still be glad I wrote it.

– Eileen Goudge