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Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

December 19, 2008

Recently some jackass posted a bunch of author's books on the Internet for free download. He said it was to promote reading. Further, he and all his idiot friends were under the misguided notion that if they gave the books away, it wasn't copyright infringement and they couldn't be charged.

I hope someone sues the living shit out of them.

Look, everyone seems to think that authors are all rich. We aren't. Like in most jobs, there are guys on the bottom who struggle to just make a living, and most people there make a decent living -- present times excluded, thank you, President Bush!!! There are also some who make more than they need and a couple of guys at the top who are filthy fucking rich. Usually these are the guys who sit on their ass all day and do nothing. When you are talking about the arts, there are a handful of people at the top who are rich. Just under them are a small group who make a living, and everyone else -- I'm just going to say probably as much as 90% of the rest of us -- can't make enough money to pay even one of our utility bills. So we work crap jobs, live off our working spouses, and live sub-par lives, becoming more bitter every moment of every day.

And here's the thing: it's not like other jobs, where you can see who's a good worker and who's not, where hard work and brains lead to better jobs and more money -- present economy excluded, thank you, Corporate America!!! In other businesses, you never see anyone with no talent and no brains making millions while people with all the talent and all the brains are sweeping up bolts and nuts off the floor.

William Shatner can't act. We all know he can't act, and yet he always works and he's worth millions. Tom Cruise is -- in my opinion and mine is the only one that matters because I'm writing this -- the worst actor who ever lived. Do you know why his costars tend to get nominated for and even win Academy Awards? It’s because next to him they look brilliant! Demi Moore can't act, and she's not working right now, so I'm guessing someone caught on. Oh, but I forgot: men who can't act can work forever but women -- even women who can act -- can't do so past age 40.

Those fucking Twilight books, you know the ones that have made the author -- whose name I don't even know -- rich and have now spawned a movie that's making her even more money? Well, I picked one up when I was at the beauty shop because it was sitting there, and it was all anyone in the shop could talk about. (I was there to get a damn haircut, all right?) A freaking horny teenager could have written that book, and here's the thing: it isn't anything special. The concept has, in fact, been beaten to death.

We have dozens of books and they outclass anything the masses are reading, but trying to get anyone to read anything that all their friends aren't reading is nearly impossible. People are sheep.

Let's face it: people just don't really read anymore. The economy is in the toilet, all the major publishing houses have had major layoffs, and a lot of the minor houses are folding like maxi pads in a vending machine.

It's not the Twilights, or the Danielle Steel or Stephen King novels that aren't going to get printed. It's anyone who is new or who hasn't made the publishers rich.

There are lots of ways -- legal ways -- that the public can stiff an author out of their royalty: only check books out of the library and buy only used books. Worse than both of those -- why not buy half-priced books? You know the new ones that the author never got a royalty on because the books were remaindered. At least on used books the author got paid once. The same is true of library books and even the book you loan to 35 of your friends. At least you paid for it once and the author got their royalty. On half-priced books, the author got zilch. The same goes for those books without a cover.

My point is it's hard enough to make someone think you have a product worth paying for without some dill hole posting your books for free on the Internet without your permission.

You want free ebooks to read, go on over to Baen's Universe. They have dozens of titles up that you can read for free, and the authors gave them permission.

Look -- you'll give money to the bell ringers to help the poor. Right now there is no community in this country in as bad a shape as the writing community because guess what? No one is going to come bail out the small presses, the large presses are in big trouble, and there just isn't anything to take up the slack. If you like to read, now is the time to put your money where your mouth is and BUY A DAMNED BOOK!!!

Selina

If you enjoy these bitches, please contact Selina directly at selinarosen@cox.net. Thanks!

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