Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Ugly Realities

We own a small business. A little bowling pro shop. Sells some bowling balls, shoes, bags. The this and that of bowlers who make it a serious hobby. It's a cute little shop, with a funky smell of plastic and the fruity scent of new bowling balls.
People come in and buy stuff and talk to my husband about which ball is best for which oil patterns. (Seriously. I had no idea there was so many intricacies to bowling until I married my husband.)

Every once in a while, people come by and grab a towel and don't pay.
It's becoming a bit of a habit, but you know. It's part of owning a buisness. Mike works hard, and he doesn't have time to track down every unpaid for towel. Not if his other customers want their bowling balls drilled.
Last week, a guy came in and grabbed a few bowling balls. Then he went into the lanes, and sold them. For half price.
And when we said something--polite, legal letter delivered to him--he ignored us.

And because we're just talking bowling balls, I mean. Mike LIKES his job, and bowling is just for fun. So why not? People can use the lane balls for free, so what's the big deal??

So this all sounds completely ridiculous right? I mean--shopplifting is a crime. Stealing a bowling ball is a crime. If this were to happen in my husband's shop (no that part isn't made up) we'd call the cops. Immediately. Because even though Mike DOES love his job, it's how we pay our bills. And letting people steal from us is stupid.

So why am I talking about this here?
Piracy. You guys. You guys.
I write books for a living. I make calculated decisions, weight the cost and how much I need to sell to break even, and how much time a book will take to produce. I work literally ALL THE TIME. (My kids are having a balloon party outside as I write this. Because summer break is for them, not me.) What I earn from my book sales pay our bills--it goes to rent, and keeping our kids in a school that fits their individual needs. It puts gas in my car and food on my table.
Piracy is a thing. It happens and I send my DCMA take downs and I move on. Because thinking about it kind of infuriates me. It's not ok. Just like it's not okay to steal from a buisness, it's not okay to steal books. I know the arguments, ok?

Libraries don't charge anything--that's great and you are welcome to visit one. Libraries pay for their copies, by the way.
It's too expensive--um. I have nothing that is fit for polite conversation but--just no.
You enjoy writing, so you should be okay with this. At least I'm reading.--by that logic, we shouldn't pay football players. Cuz. You know, they enjoy it. Yes. I do enjoy my job. But I still pay good money to make it a quality product and there is a time commitment to it and frankly, I shouldn't have to justify why you should pay for a service.
Pirates wouldn't buy it anyway--So freaking what?? I wouldn't buy a shirt at Walmart, but I highly doubt they'd be okay with that logic if I walked out of the store with it.

Stealing is exactly that--stealing. Don't pirate. Support an author and drink coffee at home while you read their book. And remember it's good for you as well--you buying that book means there will be more books. more giveaways. more events. Book sales support that. <3

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