Welcome to the underworld, Jake

Pirate Flag of Jack Rackham” by UnknownOpen Clip Art Library. Licensed under CC0 via Wikimedia Commons.

This Sunday I woke up to some sad news. Google Alerts informed me that, once again, a book of mine was being pirated in one of the many, MANY websites that make a living by stealing from others. And this time it was real quick. Pirated copies of Becoming Jake went live in less than a week since being published.

This is sad, not because it’s a real world problem — like war, or famine, or human trafficking— but because it hurt’s my finances directly.

James Lee Hard is not a company. It’s me. A guy that sits behind a computer and writes all day, in the hopes that, someday, the books he writes will sell enough to make a decent living. For the time being, they don’t. They barely cover the expenses I have to make them—domain registers, book covers, editing services… There’s a lot of things that go on behind your favorite books, before they are ready to publish an Amazon and other websites.

So, single guy behind a computer. That’s me. And every book that’s downloaded illegally, it’s 2 dollars—or less, depending on the market Amazon would sell them—that I’m not earning. That’s right people, I make anything between 35 cents and a full 2 dollars on every book I sell.

Just do the math and see how many thousands of books I need to sell to make a living out of this.

So, it’s sad. I’m sad that people pay for Internet and computers and then steal books. None of my books cost more than 3.50 dollars. It’s probably less than a cup of coffee. It’s certainly cheap and much cheaper than a videogame or a movie. So, why steal from me? I know that it’s easy and probably most of these people just want to see if the book is any good, and all the money they make is to feed their children or pay the rent.

But please know that behind James Lee Hard’s books is a guy that is trying to make a living. Not a company, not someone that’s rich and writes as a hobby. A guy that will have trouble by month’s end with bills and stuff. Just like you.

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