What YOUR FREE pirated book actually COSTS ME – Please share!!!
Today I found out that two sites have pirated my books, SKATER BOY and MY SKATER BOY. At first I was like, cool, people want my stuff. But then I put pen to paper and realized how much a free download to a pirate is actually costing ME as an author and now
I’m literally in tears.
Let me break down expenses as an indie author because most readers don’t really know. Some people think we just slap stuff out there for free. Uh, no. Ebook/Paperback formatting = $150 Cover art = $30 Cover design = $150-300 Editing = $200-400 Just to get on book online for purchase as an indie author it can cost us out of pocket from $500-$1,000.
This doesn’t even include the hundreds of hours we actually spend writing, rewriting, editing, etc. It took me four months to write SKATER BOY and MY SKATER BOY and I’m guessing on the low side that I worked at least 400 hours on both if not more. That was just for writing, not even promo work, marketing time, etc. So all totaled with my expenses AND time, we’re talking well over $3,000-$4,000 at least.
When we sell a book for 99 cents guess how much the author gets? Nope, not 99 cents. WE GET 35 CENTS! That’s it. So if I only use “real” expenses from my equation above ($1,000) that means that at 99 cents on one book I would have to sell 2,857 JUST TO BREAK EVEN! Again, this doesn’t even add in our marketing and promotions costs, or our most valuable assets…OUR TIME and CREATIVITY. I don’t know about other authors but JUST BREAKING EVEN is an accomplishment in and of itself, whether you’re selling on your own site with FastSpring or through somewhere like Amazon. Forget trying to get enough capital to write your next book.
Obviously, a lot of us aren’t writing for profit in the beginning. We’re doing it because we love to write, we love telling stories and pray that others want to read them. It’s an amazing feeling to see your name on the cover of a book, especially if it’s been a life-long dream. But when we find people are stealing our products, it truly breaks each one of us, breaks our spirit and our creativity, our desire to continue writing – at least it does for me.
So what does it matter if you download a book from a pirated site for free? Maybe nothing for you…but for me it costs me A LOT. It’s one more book out of my 2,857 that I need just to break even.
If you know someone who is pirating or illegally downloading books please send this to them. I will lowering the price of SKATER BOY to 99 cents starting tomorrow for ONE WEEK. If you haven’t read it I hope that you’ll try it out, especially since it’s only 99 cents right now. And if you find my books out there being pirated PLEASE contact me ASAP.