Recently, pirating of books has been a popular topic. I will not point out names and or personal information, but I’ll let you guys know what goes into publishing a book, besides writing it.
It takes an author to write a book- anything from a day to years.
Before publishing The Scented Bones, I’ve worked on it for 5 years. It took about 3 weeks to write Follow The Snowflakes. It took a little longer than a year to write Seven Hours. It took about 10 years to write Deity’s Soulmate.
Authors don’t get paid to write. It’s done in our free time, which can be little since we have families, a job that pays the bills, life crises, and just living.
After we finish writing the book, we go through it several times – rewriting, editing, writing notes, thinking about marketing techniques and looking for editors that we can trust. Finding a good editor is tough, especially since most of them are online and it’s through online communication. I’m thankful that I have found several who I trust! They do an amazing job and I just adore them. Sometimes, they are willing to talk on the phone but that’s sometimes.
Editors cost money. And, they should. You should see how much red ink on an edited manuscript. Made me cry several times. Again, we pay out of our own pockets, anything from FREE (if there’s a promotion) to thousands of dollars.
Then, there are proofreaders, the cost range is the same as for editors. And, then there are beta readers, some charge. Although, you can find some amazing beta’s who read for free and build lasting friendships. ^_^ After a book is beta read, an author may add more to the book and resend those pages to his or her editor. More money. Again, authors don’t get paid to write so in order to use money for the book, the author has to give up something – like buying clothing and chocolate and snacks. Sometimes, they even wait to replace a car!
After all the writing and editing is done, there is the cover. Most of the time, the cover is done while the book is being edited. The author can’t very well look at the book so has the time for a book cover. Book covers are not free. They cost money, ranging in hundreds of dollars. Some authors who have artistic talent do their own covers, and some like me, use artistic family members so that’s where the money can be saved.
Then, there are expenses for the book tours, cover reveal parties, book trailer reveals, Facebook parties, actual live events. All that before the book is on SALE. The author is still not making money and actually may have given away some free copies. That of course, is about self-published authors. Traditional published authors, still spend a lot of money, less because they do have help from a publisher, but still still spend a lot of money.
Before I forget, there’s also merchandising. Authors order BLING – bookmarks, key chains, mugs, post cards, etc. On own dime! They send gifts to readers after the parties or during and the readers can get more than a signed book.
There are other expenses that I can’t think of, but here’s what you need to know of how much authors actually get from their books. If they are traditional authors, they probably get about 20%. The sales should be bigger so the author will get money back. Most self-published authors will not get their money back with their sales or it would take a LOT of time. They also may get about 20% or less, depending on with who they publish. From a print book that costs $15, they may get $5 if lucky. How many copies do they need to sell in order to get back what they spent?
An eye opener right?
And, there are people who are making more money than the actual authors by sharing the pirated copies. Readers aren’t supposed to share the copies they get from publishers and authors. There’s copyright issues and other things. Soon, authors will be asking readers to sign contracts that they won’t share their books. Authors put a lot of trust into their readers and I really hope that we won’t have to make some contracts. I trust my readers. But reading what has been happening makes me scared.
By readers downloading free copies, the author doesn’t make anything, not even that $5.
People are willing to spend $5 coffee that lasts maybe 20 minutes and not willing to buy books that last for forever? They don’t have to get a print book, they can get an ebook. Most ebooks are 99 cents! SO much cheaper than a coffee. There’s also Kindle Unlimited. There are options.
If you don’t have money to buy books but want to read, that’s great! There are options – becoming a book blogger. You get free books to review! You do something you love and get free copies. You may even receive a signed copy! Think how your bookshelf can grow with signed copies. That’s so special. Join Facebook author and reader groups. There are book promotion companies that host parties where you can win ebooks, signed copies, jewelry! You get to meet other book lovers and enjoy yourself. That’s so much better than pirating and stealing. Also, some books do have FREE days. Sign up for your favorite author newsletters and find out when their books are free. Not only will you get free books that way but will get to know some secrets that authors don’t share in their blogs or interview. So many great options.
When you buy an author’s book, you get so much more than an ebook file or a print book. You get an author’s spirit, energy that they put into writing those books, and love. Authors must love what they do or else they will not publish or spend personal money. They gave up that new car and got a used one. They gave up that new dress that they wanted to wear to a party and ended up wearing an older one and maybe even fixed it themselves. They gave up chocolate. They gave up time that they could have spend playing with their kids. The list goes on.
Authors gave up a lot to get their book published so it could get into your hands and so you can escape the reality of your life. Please don’t download their books illegally. Please respect them.
Thank you very much for your time.