Tag Archives: support

Piracy: The Obvious Facts

Anyone ever Google Search yourself? Or your family? Your friends? Your works?

I really hadn’t before today. I’d searched my dad years ago (for specific reasons I won’t delve into here), but never myself. Besides, at the time, there probably wasn’t anything on the Internet about a 14-year-old high school student in a town in VA that most people hadn’t heard of. For kicks today, I searched for myself. Unfortunately, out of the first four Google Search results’ pages, there were only about 3 links actually about me, while the rest were either about the children’s book author that shares my name or the lawyer whose name is similar (but not the same) as mine.

When I realized I might find more if I use a more specific, unique search term, I searched for “Terrara Vikos”. And, as you might expect, I got links to my ebooks and this blog. When I flipped to page 2, I learned something new about my authoring life.

Some of my ebooks had been pirated.

I had arrived as an author.

No, seriously! Someone had procured my stories and posted them on a pirated site for the mass public of freeloaders to enjoy. By the logic I had as a child, this would have been a good thing. Utilitarianism. “The most Good for the most people.” And, people were reading my works, which meant PEOPLE WERE READING MY WORKS! However, as an adult and budding author, my opinion is now different.

Question: Is this a good thing?

Answer: No, probably not.

The Reason: Yes, I publish my stories for people to read, which would support the childhood fantasy of my writing being noticed. HOWEVER, when a person downloads my stories from a pirated site, not only am I not receiving royalties and direct attention for those copies, I am also not getting hit on my reports. A person that gets a pirated copy is a person who I will never know saw it. Whether you’re a starting author or one with mounds of experience, hits, views, and copies purchased (sales) is a BIG deal, as it tells us a great deal about the interest in our works. You’ve probably heard that preorder sales help authors (and publishers) to predict the success and profitability of that work. When you, as a reader, gain a pirated copy of ANYTHING – movies, books, music – you may feel you got a good deal from it, but, in the end, make it tough on the creators of that work. You’re hurting each person involved in the creation of that art. You’re hurting them BADLY.

Just this to close out this post. Just buy the book. It means a great deal to authors if anyone reads our works, but not if we don’t know they read them. To be honest, we’re slightly vain in that respect. WE WANT ATTENTION.

Also, those hits let us know that we have support. The only way we know that is if you buy from a reputable source, because then that purchase shows up in our reports. Those figures – # purchased, # of views, sales #’s – are our way of knowing that we are supported, and that’s what makes us feel happy and accomplished.

Does this look happy and accomplished to you?

No, didn’t think so.

But you can change that.

Guess Who’s Back?

Yep, that would be me. Things have been so crazy that I haven’t been able to gather myself and blog. A lot’s happened since my last post. I finished my last Spring semester at my college. I got an internship at a military base. My grandmother got engaged. My sister got to go to DC and Kings Dominion within a week’s time (and that’s also with going to school, homework, summer assignment prep, etc). And my father is going to get command of his own troop this weekend! He doesn’t think it’s a big deal, but it really is. 🙂

Anyway, I felt I should center today’s post around something that has very recently popped up in my life: writer’s groups.

If you’re not in one, LOOK FOR ONE! I usually only relied on a select group of friends or the internet for writing advice and critique. However, I just recently started going to James River Writer‘s Writers Farmhouse events. It happens every Wednesday at a small, organic cafe about 20 minutes from my house. I’d decided three weeks ago to try it on a whim. I’m not much of the type to put myself out there and socialize, but I’m SOOOOO glad I did for this! JRW is a group of caring, supportive, talented individuals who love the same thing I do: WRITING! However, the fun is, that’s not all we talk about. During my first visit, we talked about everything from Marvel vs. DC to Turkish potatoes. And we all got along! No one was judge-y or cared if we acted like idiots. We were all there because we all shared the same passion for writing and wanted some likeminded people to share that passion and excitement with.

Writers Farmhouse, 28-May-2014

If you’re a Richmond-area writer, consider joining JRW, or even coming to their conference in October (because that’s an even bigger blast of fun to be had). If you don’t happen to be in this area, research, research, RESEARCH! There’s bound to be one in your city or group of towns, and even if there isn’t, there’s online writer’s groups, such as Figment, which I am also a part of, though more sparsely.

Bottom line: Find other writers and get to know them. They are the BEST support system you’ll ever find!