Free is Not Free for Authors


I was tipped off recently about how easy it is to download free books online. Not just old, out of print books, but newly released books of every genre under the sun. Of course my target was Kindled books because I have written three murder mysteries, “Evil in the Mirror,” “Day Stalker” and “The Phoenix Code” that are in Kindle format, along with tradition paperback editions. I wasn’t certain that I really wanted to know, but curiosity got the better of me and away I went to Google land for some answers.

After just a short time, I was sorry for wondering if authors were being ripped off left and right by sites that pirate books with sophisticated software and then charge a one-time fee to readers who want something for nothing even though it really hurts the authors who spend a lot of money publishing their books. These sites even have disclaimers warning the buyer to respect copyrights. What the hell is that about? That is like warning someone not to eat cake after it is in their mouth!

Greed is the motivation at every level, from the publishers and pirates to the swamp throwback readers who know that they are committing copyright infringements. Not one red cent goes to the authors who worked so hard to write something worthwhile and exciting with socially redeeming value, which is more than I can say for people who would steal from a baby if a penny was involved.

Decorum prevents me from saying what I really feel about thieves of any kind, but I place these individuals right alongside anyone who would steel another person’s tools that they need to feed their family. Also, Bernie Madoff comes to mind. He stole billions with no remorse from his fellow Americans and left them destitute. If you add up all the money involved that is being bilked from millions of newbie authors, I would not be surprised if the amount was not in the same league as Madoff.

There are a few incidences of prominent, well-known authors who have stopped writing because of this scandalous behavior from the publishing world. Albeit obvious that I am an unknown author, I too have contemplated hanging up writing for the same reasons. My fourth novel “The Noose,” which is almost finished, may be my last. Sure, it’s great to say you are a published author, but that and a dollar will get you a cup of coffee.

The bad guys and gals know that the unknown author can’t afford to sue; all we can do is write blogs and bang our heads against the nearest wall until bloodied. We are at the mercy of merciless, money-grubbing thieves who have the upper hand, especially when the economy is in the toilet. The whole affair is sickening and repulsive to authors and laymen alike who still believe in the honesty and integrity of most Americans.

I have only one more thing to say, “Get a rope!”



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