One of the more frustrating and disheartening things as an author, particularly a small-time author, is finding out your e-book is being distributed online illegally. We all know it happens. A lot of folks think writers and artists should just be happy anyone's reading the books at all, but most of us have multiple jobs just to make ends meet (book sales aren't what you'd think they are... it's not a rich man's game) and creating a new novel takes thousands and thousands of unpaid hours to do. We do it because we love it, but we also try to make a living at it, and it's really hard to keep a series going long-term if the books are constantly being pirated online.
I remember a few years back reading that the wonderful film Ink (if you've never seen it, it is amazing and I can't recommend it highly enough) was unable to find distribution, but became a huge hit on the pirated movie scene. Rather than try to fight the piracy, the producers just said: did you steal our movie? Did you enjoy it? Would you like to support our art after the fact anyway? Here's how to donate a few bucks.
And that was it. No shaming, no anger, just an honest request--if you watched the film through a pirated version, you could still help support the artists and help them continue their career.
So I've added a link on the Home page to this site down the bottom. Know someone who read the book for free with an illegal copy? (Not a borrowed one, but a ripped copy on the web?) I know it happens. But the option is there on the Home page to throw a few dollars toward helping the series keep going. I'd like to do a new Indstructibles book at least once a year, hopefully twice, and if the books aren't constantly being stolen online, that goes a long, long way to helping me to accomplish that. I won't shame anyone for it. But every copy that is stolen is a few hours of an author's life they'll never get back, y'know? This is especially tough on smaller authors.
And please don't take this as encouragement to go find a free copy online. First, they are often riddled with viruses and malware (gross). And second, if you obtain your copy through normal channels, they appear as official sales, and the more official sales we get, the more likely the books can some day eventually be turned into something bigger, like a movie or TV series! Without those "official" numbers, no production company will ever look at the books seriously, so it's as much an investment in something cool down the line as it is the honest thing to do.
Thanks for letting me wallow a bit in this post, and thanks as always to everyone who supports the books through e-books and paperback copies. You're as responsible for keeping the series going as I am! I've got some good news about Book 4 coming up soon, and possible a way to get new short stories out to you every month as well. Stay tuned!
Matthew Phillion is the writer of "The Indestructibles," part-time actor, occasional filmmaker. Currently on the lam in Salem with his trusty dog, Watson.