Looking for “Free” Books?

Hey there, sudden influx of pirates!

Coming here looking for illegal downloads of River/Wolfe?
That series was cancelled due to piracy.

Looking for illegal downloads of Bloodlines/Hunter/Lineage/Exhumed?
You are now in part responsible for that series being cancelled as well.

Did you miss Soulless when it was serialized and want a free version of that?
It is a FUNDRAISER book for my vet bills.

You’re attempting to steal from someone living below the poverty level, whose cat just died and dog is sick, and who can no longer afford to publish books.
Congratulations: you’re a terrible person.

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Either you’ve stumbled across this page while poking around my site, or–more likely–you have been directed here because you came looking for Skyla Dawn Cameron torrents, “free” downloads or epub mobi pdf or “read online free Skyla Dawn Cameron”, and the like.

On the author’s own website.

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Dude, WHY WOULD I HAVE THAT HERE?

No no, hold on a sec. I’m actually glad you’re here. Stay. Read the message below. Because it involves what series have been cancelled, what series are on the verge of cancellation, and my answers to your explanations of why you have to steal from me.

Here’s the truth: piracy kills series. It does. River Wolfe, those books about the wolf-turned-teen girl y’all keep coming looking for? There were two of them. There was going to be a third. I stopped writing it because of how heavily pirated the first two books were. I will never finish writing it and it will never be published.

Bloodlines? Hunter? Lineage? Exhumed? The whole Demons of Oblivion series?

Bloodlines has already been pirated more than it’s been bought. Read that again. More illegal downloads than legal purchases. For a full-length novel that is only $2.99.

Do you get that, dear pirates? I am not some big time author.

I lost my full-time job in Sept 2013. I have to choose what I work on right now very, very carefully; anything I write must carry a reasonable expectation of being financially viable. If you continue pirating my books, I will complete the fifth novel, Oblivion, at some distant point in the future because I’ve promised it to the fans, and then I’m done. There will be no more books in that series either.

Whatever your excuses are? I’ve heard them. I don’t care.

I can’t afford books!

Really? Because you can afford the iPads and laptops and Kindle Fires you’re visiting my site on while you look for illegal downloads of my books.  Books which are full-length novels for the most part and priced at $3 – $5, which is several dollars cheaper than other books in their genre. I understand poverty. I know poverty. 99% of the people visiting my site for torrents are not the downtrodden.

I want it in a different format!

ALL of my books are available in mobi, epub, html, and pdf. All of them. DRM free so you can convert them yourself to another format you need. What is this magical format you require?

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It’s not available in my country!

Uh, yeah, it is. All of my books are available at a dozen different retailers with no geographical restrictions.

I don’t have a credit card!

Me either! So here’s what you do: get an iTunes gift card and check out my work in the iBookstore. Or do what I do and get a VISA gift card from the store, which is usable online. Or use PayPal.

My country doesn’t allow PayPal!

Go to the bank. Take out a money order in Canadian funds. Send it to me. I will send you the books. There, problem solved. (Seriously, I know ebook authors who have worked this out with readers before. If you can put in the effort to find a pirated copy, you can put in the effort to get a legal one.)

Information wants to be free!

I’m not selling non-fiction. I’m not publishing a cure for cancer. The secrets of the universe are not found in a book of mine about vampires. These books are entertainment, which you are not automatically entitled to like air and water.

I don’t want to support big publishers and their gold toilets and yachts!

Dude, my books are put out by me. You are hurting me. And those I am responsible for. Also? I’ve worked in publishing. I don’t know anyone with a yacht. I know a hell of a lot of good editors who were laid off because of low profits. And I know a lot of authors who had to cancel series because sales were so low that publishers didn’t want to buy more of their books.

I already bought an ereader, books should be free.

So…you enjoy screwing over the little guy, then? Give your hard-earned cash to Apple and Microsoft and fuck those content creators who work for 50c an hour writing books? We don’t get a cut of those iPad sales, dumbass. Let’s be honest: it comes down to convenience. It is more convenient for you to steal from me than it is to walk your ass to the store and take a tablet off the shelf.

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It’s not stealing, it’s SHARING!

No, actually, it’s copyright infringement: the illegal copying and distribution of work you do not have the rights to. I and others choose to use the word theft for a very specific reason.

It’s not like I’m SELLING your books illegally.

Yes, but the people who do sell illegally? Where do you think they get ebooks from? Torrents and download sites like you do. They take those books and make money off of them and they don’t give a dime to the authors. I know because I’ve had to send takedown notices to ebay and the like when users sold my book and others without permission and without giving me a cut. Putting ebooks up for illegal distribution means you don’t control how they’re then used. They’re put on CDs or online stores and sold for money; they’re converted to RTFs and have the names changed and then sold as original content (yes, this is A Thing That Happens, and it’s growing widespread).

If I like it, I’ll buy it later.

Do you think that’ll work at the grocery store? I can take home a bag of chips, eat them, and come back and pay for them if I DO like them? Really? I mean, should I try? Maybe you can go first and let me know how it works out for you?

I’m going to pirate your stuff anyway because you bitched about it.

You know why you react that way? With that defiant little “I’ll show you!” sneer? Because you know I’m right. So VERY mature–you sure showed that writer standing up for her rights! Your mother must be so proud of you.

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Didn’t you know [insert famous author here] says piracy helps them?

Good for that author. Go and take their work. I would rather take my chance with obscurity than have you take that choice from me. You dig that?

*mumble mumble* Libraries!

Libraries are great. Hey, did you know that in Canada, we have something called Public Lending Rights, which means the government gives us some pennies depending on how many of our books are in libraries? So if you walk your ass down to the library and request a book, they’ll get in copies–then YOU get to read free and *I* not only make a bit of money on the initial sale but, in Canada, make a little extra.

I’m just one person, it doesn’t make a difference if pirate.

Yes it does. You choose to buy, you teach your kids to do things legally, you encourage your friends to do their part, and it all trickles down until we have a culture that supports content creators rather than punishes them. You absolutely can make the difference.

tumblr_lq2p5x3mwT1qht847Every time you visit one of those piracy forums? See the ads there? How about when you click a link to Rapidgator or DepositFiles or Zippyshare or FileFactory? See those ads that pop up? Your clicks, your pageviews, put money in the pocket of pirates. They make money from your illegal activities. Do you think they give a cut of that to the writer? No.

No book is “free”, even if you didn’t take money out of your wallet to pay for it.

I make money as a writer on a per-purchase basis. No patron or magical rent fairy coming by to hand a cheque to my landlord. Every sale counts.

Piracy has an actual place in the world: in countries under brutal regimes, like North Korea, where everything is so tightly controlled, the only way to change the tide is smuggling illegal content over the border. I’m cool with that. But y’all visiting my site, pirating my books? You’re not from North Korea. You’re primarily from the US, Canada, a few from the UK, Australia, and the odd one from India (oh and Brazil–I haven’t forgotten about you, Andrea). All countries where my books can EASILY be legally obtained.

You are not being oppressed.

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Let me speak very plainly here for a moment: illegally copying and distributing my work violates me.

Psychologically, it makes it more difficult to work; it’s hard enough spending hundreds and hundreds of hours on a manuscript knowing you’ll never make minimum wage on it, but it’s even more difficult when you’re aware of how many motherfuckers are going to hit your website looking for illegal copies the day of release. Financially, it means the books you enjoy reading will be fewer and far between or will disappear all together because most writers already work multiple jobs to pay the bills and they will not continue a series that costs them more to produce than they’ll make on it.  In terms of quality, it means writers will try churning out crap so they can live on quantity rather than quality work, and it means there are fewer editors around to work on the books because of lay-offs. 

Exhumed meant a hell of a lot to me emotionally, and if it ends up pirated, Zara and Nate are DONE.

I do not need to spend my time writing more Zara books. Nope, I have ideas here lined up around the block and then some–I have TONS of stuff I can work on. Books that might reach a wider audience to make up for the piracy. Or ideas I want to write, just for me, and never publish for my readers. You are hurting yourself by pirating.

If you love books, like you claim to–if you love reading, if you love devouring a new series–you will not leech from the people producing them. Because readers and writers have a symbiotic relationship, and writers cannot do their part if you do not do yours.

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Still here? Think I’m alone in my feelings on the subject? Why don’t you read what Patricia Briggs, Dina James, Shiloh Walker, Jeaniene Frost, and Lilith Saintcrow have to say on the subject.