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Top Ten Reasons Why I Hate Novel Piracy

Inspired by an F. Paul Wilson article called “Word Thieves II.” (Read it.) He’s talking about websites that scan novels without permission and offer them for free to the masses without morals. He does a marvelous job of explaining why piracy is bad.

I freely admit that there are no hard and fast facts to support the following numbers, but how many wealthy writers do you know?

10.

Communism espouses the philosophy of freely sharing the products of someone else’s sweat and blood. We all know how well that works out.

09.

Most novelists have wanted to be writers since childhood and have put their hearts and souls into becoming writers, often spending tens of thousands of dollars on education and hundreds of thousands of hours on practice, research, study, and getting over their insecurities.

08.

It takes anywhere from four months to five years out of a writer’s finite lifetime to finish a novel.

07.

The publisher usually pays the writer royalties based on how many copies are SOLD. Sometimes, the amount of the advance has to come out of those royalties first.

06.

Most writers would be lucky to get a $6,000 advance per novel1. The rest comes from royalties.

05.

The above advance figure is before taxes, before the agent’s 15%, and before writing-related expenses.

04.

If a writer finishes two novels in a year, she’s making an annual gross salary of $12k (if you don’t count royalties or her day job). That’s poverty.

03.

A writer’s advance is based on the number of copies the publisher thinks it will SELL. The publisher has no interest in how many of you are downloading it for free from your favorite pirate site.

02.

When you download a product from a pirate site, you’re throwing away your opportunity to vote with your dollars. The way you choose to spend your money (or not spend it) has greater influence than you may realize. It informs the decisions of the publishers regarding what sort of books to publish in the future.

01. And the #1 reason why I hate novel piracy:

It’s stealing.

If you’re too broke to buy a novel, go to your local library. They need all the love they can get in a day and age when they’re closing libraries like crazy (probably because people are pirating instead). No excuse.

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