Monday, November 23, 2009

Open Season on Authors?

Ahoy, there! Please welcome talented thriller author Michelle Gagnon back to the lair. She's here today to express her feelings about the topic of literary piracy. Thanks for stopping by to share your thoughts, Michelle! We're happy to have you as a guest again.


I received a Google alert last week for a website called, "Plunder.com." I clicked on it, and lo and behold, it led to a file sharing site. And there were all three of my books, in their entirety, available for free download. Including THE GATEKEEPER, which was just released two weeks ago.

Obviously this is not a rarity, I know plenty of other authors who have been the victims of piracy. And to the site's credit, as soon as my publisher's legal department contacted them, the files were removed. But still--who knows how many free copies were downloaded during the few days that the files were posted? Ebook downloads still constitute a small portion of overall sales--but did the free files make a dent in my Kindle and/or Sony Reader sales? Impossible to say.

The publishing industry is entering a new phase. They're now confronting issues that the music industry has been wrestling with for the past decade. Year after year, total music sales have declined, and industry insiders attribute much of that loss to the continued popularity of pirated songs. According to a report issued in January by the IFPI <http://www.afterdawn.com/news/archive/16667.cfm> , fully ninety-five percent of all online music downloads were unauthorized.

The statistics are much lower for pirated books, but it's only going to get worse. As eBook readers come down in price, chances are they'll become as ubiquitous as iPods. And when that happens, this type of piracy will become more and more prevalent.

Most authors who renewed contracts in the year since the financial meltdown saw their advances slashed by thirty percent or more. Combine piracy with the impact of the book price wars <http://killzoneauthors.blogspot.com/2009/11/book-price-wars.html> , and it'll become nearly impossible for most writers to eke out a living from their work.

Last week Declan Burke <http://crimealwayspays.blogspot.com/2009/11/woe-is-me-etc-failing-writer-writes.html> posted a poignant message about why he's decided it's no longer feasible to pursue a career as a writer. Unfortunately, there's a chance that more and more authors will be forced into making the same decision. Our own John Ramsey Miller recently posted <http://killzoneauthors.blogspot.com/2009/11/dog-boy-wolf-man.html> about the difficulties writers face today, and how it only seems to be getting harder.

Some people argue that self-publishing ebooks will fill this void. To be honest, I have my doubts. First of all, the benefit of an advance is that it enables an author to pay the bills while writing the book. You also receive editorial assistance, marketing help, and distribution. I can say for a fact that without that editorial help, all of my books would have suffered. Sure, I could hire an outside editor--but that would involve more money out of pocket. Throw in cover design, formatting, marketing materials...and my ebook would enter the marketplace down a few thousand dollars. So I'd need to earn at least that to see a profit.

And if the marketplace is flooded with self-published books (which is already happening), how does an author stand out among the crowd? Even if you manage to claw out a niche for yourself, how do you sell enough books to earn a living? I know authors who are garnering a few thousand dollars a year from their ebooks, but that's clearly not enough to survive on. And it's only going to become more difficult.

Sorry to be all doom and gloom, but the truth was that seeing my work posted for free struck me as a harbinger of worse things to come. I spent a year of my life on each of those books. If you factor in the total hours worked on them, I earned less than minimum wage for their creation. And now someone was giving them away, completely disregarding all of that effort. Someone was basically saying that they were worthless, so people might as well have them for free.

I realize that "Rachell" probably didn't have all this in mind when she converted the files so they could be shared. But think of it this way. You can't leave a restaurant without paying for a meal, otherwise the next time you go, the restaurant will likely have closed since they couldn't pay their bills. A good meal costs money to produce; so does a good book. If you don't pay for things, down the road they won't be there for you. So if you love books, and want to continue enjoying the same wide selection down the line, for God's sake buy them. If you want to read them for free, get a library card. Anything else just makes you a thief, and in the end you'll be stuck eating mac and cheese.


Michelle, thanks for sharing your views on this thought-provoking issue. It'll be interesting to see how everything unfolds in the months to come.

If you would like to learn more about Michelle and her phenomenal novels, please visit www.michellegagnon.com

71 comments:

mariska said...

me ?

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, just missed out! Congrats, Mariska.

Michelle, what a fantastic post. I must say I get angry and upset and depressed when I see my stuff on these pirate sites. One site (and this is ONE site) had over 30,000 copies of my books that had gone for free. That's grand larceny.

It also depresses me that when I try and tell people who consider themselves perfectly honest citizens that downloading pirated files is theft pure and simple, they argue with me that if the technology exists, it must be legal. Clearly shooting people with automatic rifles must be legal then too on that argument.

I love libraries. If you've got no money, go to the library. If the book falls to pieces and it's been popular, they'll buy a new one. And believe me, after 30,000 reads, I suspect even the best bit of binding is getting a bit frayed.

I've seen people who regularly download books justify their actions by saying that they're too poor to buy books at the rate they read them. Hey, I'm too poor to eat lobster every night but dang, I'd like to. Does that mean I've got a right to knock down my local fishmonger and snatch the seafood out of his cold and clammy hands? I don't think so.

I go back to my original comment, it's theft, pure and simple. And sadly, I think the writers are the ones who are going to end up paying the price of all these people lapping up free stuff.

So think before you download that free book! Your action could spell the end of the career of your favorite author.

mariska said...

Hi Michelle, welcome to the lair :)
i just came back from your site. Wow, all of your books sound Awesome !! It always Great knowing another New author for me.

That's a great topic. Alright, E-books are one solution for a reader that don't have much money to buy the book. And borrowing from the library is another good solution. but let say they don't have library in their neighborhood (like me). Waiting for quite some times for the book to available in local version will be very painful (we almost need to wait about 2 years or more for certain books to be able in our language !)

the great solution for ME now, it's entering as much as blog contests that the giveaways are books or e-books. it's Legal right ?:)
so when will you have a giveaway for your fabulous books ? ^_^v LOL!!

Pissenlit said...

Congrats mariska!

Michelle, congrats on the new release this month!

I love libraries. My branch is dinky and near useless but I can go online, request any book in the library's system. They'll get them from other branches more fortunate than mine and send them to any branch I request and notify me when they're ready for pick-up. The library system is my friend.

Anna - they argue with me that if the technology exists, it must be legal.

Wow. That argument is something something...

flchen1 said...

Amen, Michelle. I despise piracy, pirates, and what piracy does to authors and ultimately to readers. May those pirates' hard drives crash without backups and their book collections be infested with bookworms.

Congrats on the GR, Mariska!

Gillian Layne said...

I completely agree. And I'm sorry that it seems the burden of "policing" the internet and these sites seems to fall to the authors to find and report.

Do you report them to your publishers? Or Google? Who exactly has the power to go in and take these sites down? Or is getting rid of them like trying to hold smoke in your hand?

I must add, Michelle puts out an excellent newsletter, you all should go sign up!

Kim Howe said...

Congrats, Marika!!! Have fun with the GR.

Deb Marlowe said...

Thank you for being brave enough to say it out loud, Michelle. A thief is a thief is a thief.

I told this to my son last week. A girl sitting in class next to him stealthily reached under his chair as he worked, opened his lunchbox and ate part of his packed lunch. When he looked up and found it out, he was mad and asked her what she thought she was doing.
"I was hungry!" she said. As if her reluctance to wait the 30 minutes until the lunch period in any way excused her.

Man, was I furious! I would come down like white on rice if any of my kids did something like this. Like I told him, stealing a turkey sandwich is the same as stealing a car. A thief is a thief.

Stealing a book because you can is no different. Stealing a book because you don't have the income to spare is no different. As Anna said--the library is right there! They will get you nearly any book you want within a matter of days--without harming a hard working author.

Kim Howe said...

Anna C, you made several great points. If you ever retire from romance writing, I'm thinking you could have a flourishing career as a speech writer! :)

Kim Howe said...

Pissenlit, I'm also a huge fan of libraries. I travel a lot, so I usually buy books in airports, etc. Whenever I finish with a novel, I donate it to my library so other people can enjoy it in a "legal" manner.

Kim Howe said...

flchen1, LOL on your bookworm comment. That sounds like a fair price to pay for book theft!

Kim Howe said...

Gillian, thanks for asking those questions. I'm also curious to hear the answers.

Kim Howe said...

Deb, I can't believe that young lady's nerve, stealing your son's food. Yowza, isn't anything sacred anymore?

The gym I attend put up a shower curtain to increase privacy when the door opens. Believe or not, someone stole the inexpensive shower curtain.

I wish we could do more to protect authors. Writing a novel takes blood, sweat, and tears over an extended period of time, and it is completely unfair for people to bootleg them.

Kim Howe said...

Michelle, I'd like to hear more about THE GATEKEEPER, so please share how you came up with the idea and what drove you to write it. Thanks!

Christie Kelley said...

Great topic, Michelle.

I really get peeved when I see a copy of my first book out on a site like this. Being part of the Kensington Debut program, my first book (paperback, not in e-format) was only $3.99! I'm thinking if a person skips one Starbucks in a week, they can afford my book. But instead, they illegally download it.


How is downloading it for free any different than walking into a bookstore and stealing it off the shelf?

And for those who say if it's on the internet it's legal...there is a lot of stuff on the internet that is illegal. Child porn, illegal drugs, etc. That logic just doesn't cut it.

As Deb said, a thief is a thief.

Kim Howe said...

Christie, I'd definitely trade a Starbucks for hours of enjoyment reading your novel! :)

Kim Howe said...

I'm headed downtown for a meeting. I will be checking in later this afternoon when I return. Thanks!

Susan Sey said...

Michelle--Wow, what a great, thoughtful post. And I agree with Anna--the public library is a gorgeous thing. It's a way to try out new authors without investing my teeny little book budget. But if I find somebody I like, they get a chunk of that budget--tiny though it may be.

I do believe in paying for art--and in only consuming the art I can afford to buy or borrow. Now I can only hope that the print industry lasts long enough to support my paltry dream of making enough money selling my books to help my kids through college.

Donna MacMeans said...

Mariska - Day two with the rooster? You're a brave one (grins).

Welcome Michelle and thank you for your excellent post. Sometimes I think people justify downloading pirated files because they believe authors make fantastic sums of money and thus can afford missing a royalty or two. Perhaps a few authors earn celebrity size paychecks, but not the bulk of us. Geez Anna - 30,000 copies! Incredible. Even at 10 cents a copy for royalty - that's $3,000 gone.

I hope technology will be developed to halt the piracy of books, music, and movies because at this rate - these things will cease to exist. Prices will rise to cover losses due to piracy causing the honest amongst us to pay for the theft. We all suffer when someone decides to steal another's lunch.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Michelle! Welcome to the Lair!!

Mariska, I'm sensing a theme here...The GR's stringing you along, isn't he? He's a rascal that one. Remember, it's just cupboard love. Snork.

Like you, Michelle, and Anna and several others who've popped on already, it totally torques me to see my books being downloaded for free. One item you didn't mention, and all those readers looking for something on the cheap overlooked, is that it took me years to get to the point of being published. Unpaid years. Expensive years. So any money we make on book one is already "in the hole" in a way because of all the unpaid effort we've put out until we actually GET published.

Sigh. I can see why some authors get so discouraged they give up.

I've actually been talking with a young, college aged friend of mine and I think I'm going to hire him to go a'hunting this sort of stuff for me so I don't have to, but I can still report it to my publishing house and get it stopped. (He has more time-on-the-net time than I do!) That much more out of my pocket, but worth it in this case.

Great topic, and good interview, KJ!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Fedora, I'm with you! Here, here! May their hardrives crash!

(Having had my laptop go all "blue-screen-of-death" on me, I know how damaging this can be!)

Yes! Crashing hard drives to them, a pox on their houses and bookworms in the books they DO have! Huzzah!

Cassondra said...

Hi Michelle!

Great post about piracy, and every now and then I think we all need to be reminded. It's so easy to download, apparantly, that people forget. I think there is such a separation from the "crime" because all they have to do is a few mouse clicks and Poof, there is what they want. Perhaps that's why people who would never steal something physical will steal a piece of intellectual property without a second thought.

I have friends offer to download and burn stuff for me all the time. Recently it was a very expensive language learning program which costs several hundred dollars. "I know where you can download that for free," they said.

"But if you do that," I said, "the creator of the work doesn't get paid and can't afford to buy food for their kids."

"Oh," the person said. Her lips pushed out in thought. "But I need it and I don't have $400 for it."

I just looked at her. I suppose she downloaded it anyway, but at least she'll click the button knowing she's taking something from someone else.

What happened to not affording it meaning you didn't GET it? What happened to that? I can't afford to fly to Jamaica this winter, so ya know? I'm not going. Imagine.

Ah well...perhaps justice will one day bring us the ability to stop such piracy. This is why I left songwriting. I pursued it for years and then there was no more money to venture on new writers. *sigh* People need to understand how it works, but until they try to make a living from creating something, I think that may not happen. *sigh*

Cassondra said...

Jeanne said:

I've actually been talking with a young, college aged friend of mine and I think I'm going to hire him to go a'hunting this sort of stuff for me so I don't have to, but I can still report it to my publishing house and get it stopped. (He has more time-on-the-net time than I do!) That much more out of my pocket, but worth it in this case.


OH, Jeanne, this is a great idea. I bet I could pay for two hours a week of a techno-geek's time while he was still in college, and get a LOT of it stopped. The plus to this is that the geek (and quite likely his friends) will learn something about piracy--this NOT wealthy-from-the-entertainment-biz writer is paying somebody to try to stop piracy.

THAT is a positive idea right there.

Nancy said...

Michelle, this seems to be a growing problem. I heard about it, with short fiction involved, years ago at DragonCon.

What all the downloaders and fileswappers fail to understand is that if creative artists don't get paid, they can't produce. People say big-name recording artists get a lot of money anyway, so it's okay.

No. The money comes from honest consumers, on whom the pirates are thus freeloading. Where do they think the money comes from? The more people who swap illegally, the less revenue to the creator, etc., a phenomenon that will eventually take its toll in less music or fiction or whatever being produced.

This is one of the downsides to the internet.

Nancy said...

Mariska, congrats on the rooster!

Nancy said...

Anna, that's mind-blowing! Thirty thousand copies? Is your publisher prosecuting? Or can't you say?

Nancy said...

Deb, I could go on about this kind of thing. Our son's backpack was stolen from his locker twice. So far as we know, nothing happened to the thief, who was caught with it by the school security guard.

Taking someone else's stuff is no less a criminal offense because it happens in a school.

Nancy said...

Kim, someone stole a shower curtain from the gym? That sort of boggles the mind. I mean, not only was it, as you say, cheap, but it had soap scum from lots and lots of people on it. Eeeww . . .

Nancy said...

Christie, people can rationalize just about anything. We lived at the library when I was growing up. My dad went every week, and I usually went with him. When I was older, I rode my bike (small town, and all that) and filled the basket with books.

I saw an interesting article on the e-readers recently that hypothesized that one reason for their popularity is that they require no effort--that they aren't a sign people are reading more, just that they read more conveniently. As opposed to, oh, checking out a library book. You have to go to the library, stand in line, check out, and go home.

Nancy said...

Jeanne, cool idea on hiring your friend as your net cop. Maybe I'll hire the boy when the time comes. He's always happy to earn money.

We had this conversation last year. A friend brought him a CD of downloads, and we weren't satisfied as to the legality of the downloads. They may have been fine, but we had our doubts. We made him give it back and used it as a teaching moment on royalties, the creative process, and making a living.

But we have friends who know their kids do this and don't care.

Nancy said...

Cassondra wrote: Ah well...perhaps justice will one day bring us the ability to stop such piracy.

I think it also has to be a priority, Cassondra, and it isn't likely to be when so many, many people see nothing wrong with it.

I suspect it's interstate commerce, which I think (and depend on you crime writers to correct if I'm wrong) is the province of the FBI. If they have only so many agents, nonviolent crime becomes a low priority.

Pissenlit said...

Kim - The gym I attend put up a shower curtain to increase privacy when the door opens. Believe or not, someone stole the inexpensive shower curtain.

Somehow, I am not surprised. There are people that will steal anything. One semester, my baby brother had to share a house with a handful of other college kids he didn't know. They were having a problem with fruit flies in the kitchen because they had a lidless garbage can. One morning, he went into the kitchen and the fruit fly problem was gone. It seems his flatmates stole an outdoor McDonalds garbage bin(the kind with the flap in the lid). *shakes head*

Helen said...

Congrats Mariska enjoy your day with him

I think it is so wrong to download these books without any money going to the hard working authors who spend lots and lots of time writing these books for our enjoyment.
I have never been to any of these sites and have never had the inclination to look for them, I buy the books I want and if I can't afford them I put them on my must have list and when I can afford them I buy them.
Hopefully soon there will be some sort of policing system on the internet to stop this from happening we can hope. In the meantime I agree with Fedora I hope their hard drives crash.

Michelle your books sound awesome congrats on the release.

Have Fun
Helen

Nancy said...

Donna wrote: Prices will rise to cover losses due to piracy causing the honest amongst us to pay for the theft.

And don't think I didn't roundly curse every shoplifter in the history of the universe every time I had to undo all those wires on every single part of every single action figure the boy owned. Gaah!

The NC State Bar even has a fund it uses to repay people (not many, thank goodness) whose lawyers embezzle money. How is it funded? By levy on all licensed lawyers. Most I know, though, consider it only right the profession make whole those who suffer from its bad apples. In the cases of embezzlers, though, active jail time usually is involved.

Nancy said...

Michelle, I would also like to hear about The Gatekeeper.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Michelle, welcome back to the Lair! And thank you for posting on such a timely and worrisome topic!

Anna and Deb, I can't improve on your eloquence: A Thief is a Thief! There is NO justification for stealing.

One of my greatest joys is to see how many libraries have copies of The Wild Sight in their collection. We could seldom afford books when I was a kid so the library was paradise for me. I would have never DREAMED of stealing a book! Unfortunately, I've discovered The Wild Sight on several of these pirate sites. I report them to my publisher and they in turn have their legal dept. send a stern warning. Of course, this is after the fact so who knows how much $$ it has cost both me and my publisher. :-(

AC

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Michelle! Always a pleasure to have you in the Lair!

When Napster came out, my kids did download some files before I knew the site was a piracy site. Long before the site was forced to change its policies, our household changed ours. With iPods, my kids get iTune cards for holidays and birthdays to download legally. For us, it was a big issue, partially because of the artist's right to make a living from their work like writer's should and also a moral lesson for our kids.

Nancy said...

Cindy, I know what you mean about libraries. I used to get $1 when we came into the city for orthodontist appointments. Nancy Drew was $1 at the local dept. store book department (yes, they had those then). When the books went up to $1.25, I was crushed. The library was my mecca.

When my dad died, one of the charities we asked people to consider for memorial donations was the county library. He rarely bought books, but he read voraciously, most often from the library.

Cassondra said...

Nancy said:

I suspect it's interstate commerce, which I think (and depend on you crime writers to correct if I'm wrong) is the province of the FBI. If they have only so many agents, nonviolent crime becomes a low priority.


Well, the trouble is that as soon as software comes out to protect material from illegal downloads, more software comes out to decrypt and break into and steal it. There needs to be some way to prevent that from happening, not just punish the crime. When 99 percent of the population is the perpetrator, it's impossible to effectively punish a crime. It has to be prevention--education first, yes, but also technology to actually keep it from happening-which we turn to, I think. There are not enough law enforcement agents in the universe to nail the people doing this because it's nearly everybody, which is disheartening.

Lots and lots and LOTS of time and money are being spent by the recording industry to try to prevent illegal downloads of music. I don't know how much is being spent by the book business. But still it doesn't seem to stay ahead of the hackers and the techno-thieves. I am ignorant of the technology involved, so I have no idea what has to happen, but I wish it would.

Anna Campbell said...

Kim, clearly this is something that gets my liver boiling! I work really hard on my books and some *&%%$$$ comes along and steals it? NOT RIGHT!

Gillian, it is a little bit like holding smoke in your hands, sadly. You get one file taken down and another one goes up within hours. But I need to do something just to release my ire!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Nancy said: And don't think I didn't roundly curse every shoplifter in the history of the universe every time I had to undo all those wires on every single part of every single action figure the boy owned. Gaah!


oh, so true, Nancy. HATE those things!

Anna Campbell said...

I've told the publisher, Nancy, but this particular site is a real mongrel one. They're out of some central Asian countries and there's no legal copyright protection and it's hard to track down who's at the base of it. That's the most I've ever seen on one site but I've definitely seen downloads in the single thousands on other sites. If you added them all up, you're talking a huge number. I wonder about some of the really big names like Julia Quinn or J.R. Ward. They must get ripped off in the millions.

Nancy said...

Cassondra wrote: When 99 percent of the population is the perpetrator, it's impossible to effectively punish a crime.

Very true. As Prohibition demonstrated. My students are always astounded by the small number of enforcement agents the government, mistakenly assuming everyone favored Prohibition, charged with its enforcement.

Nancy said...

Anna, if you need to vent your ire, come go to kickboxing. I haven't been in ages, need to go back, and would do better with a buddy.

And I totally understand why you're so ticked.

Nancy said...

Anna, I meant to add that I've heard some Asian countries are really bad about any kind of copyright protection. I'm so sorry this has happened and is so easy for people to do.

Michelle Gagnon said...

Hi everyone!
Sorry I'm arriving late to the party- my daughter is already out of school so the morning was occupied.
Okay, let's see if I can play catch-up...
Mariska, great idea. Tell you what- I'll mail a signed edition to one commenter (in the US or Canada, if that's okay). I'm also currently holding a drawing for a MacBook to newsletter subscribers, more info is available on my site.
Gillian- I usually have my publisher handle it, and they do it impressively quickly. Thanks for the kind words re: the newsletter.

Kim- the idea stemmed from a dinner with a friend in the FBI who said that after 9/11 their reources were shifted to watching foreign nationalists on US soil (as opposed to militias like the one Timothy McVeigh belonged to). Yet hate groups have doubled in membership in the past decade. So there are twice as many people, but no one is watching them. His guess was that there would be another Oklahoma City before another 9/11, which was the jumping off point for the storyline. And btw, I managed to work in some of the info we got on our tour of the Oakland Port last year!

Michelle Gagnon said...

So true, Jeanne- it was a long road to get my books published, so the piracy of them really hurts.
Cossandra, you raise an interesting point. I actually think there's been something of a seismic shift in these kinds of crimes- these days most people's moral codes seem to revolve around what they can get away with, rather than if it's right or wrong. I was with a friend's father once in a drugstore, and caught him palming a candy bar at the checkout register. It was mortifying. Afterward I had to say, "I saw you do that,"and he shrugged and said, "she was taking too long." As if he deserved it because the clerk was a little behind.
Back in the day (and I'm not 'fessin to how long ago this was) I wrote my senior thesis- short stories based on his WWI diary entries. And it struck me that concepts like "honor" really meant something back then, in a way that we seem to have lost.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Michelle! I said welcome earlier, but I should have said Welcome BACK!

BTW, I heard that tour of the port was really fascinating. That was the KOD tour, right?

Michelle Gagnon said...

About the Gatekeeper...the book has two parallel storylines (I have two main characters, Jake Riley and FBI Agent Kelly Jones). Kelly's starts in AZ, where she's investigating the murder of an extremely conservative US Senator who might have been killed by hate groups. Meanwhile, Jake is trying to track down the daughter of a nuclear physicist who was kidnapped. Over the course of the book, the two storylines intersect, and much mayhem ensues...

Anna Campbell said...

Kickboxing, Nancy? Sounds like a good idea! I find chopping vegies is very therapeutic too. Here, take that, evil pirate person who looks like a carrot!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Michelle said: And it struck me that concepts like "honor" really meant something back then, in a way that we seem to have lost.

Perhaps that's why we're so incredibly fond of historicals and books featuring men who could wear that shining armor, were they in that time. We see so much both in life and on TV that ISN'T honorable. Sigh.

Kim Howe said...

Hey there, I'm back from a long day downtown in meetings. The weather in Toronto is rainy and dreary and traffic slowed to standstill. I often think of our Aussie connections during these days, wishing I could move there. :)

Kim Howe said...

Michelle, I'm thrilled that KOD tour paid off...it's great to bring authenticity into a novel. It was a lot of fun hanging out with you. Love the idea of the converging storylines--that's what has me hooked on thrillers!

Kim Howe said...

Jeanne, your idea of a hiring an online piracy buster is awesome. I love the way you think!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Kim said: Jeanne, your idea of a hiring an online piracy buster is awesome. I love the way you think!

Thank you, thank you...I'll be here all the week...as the comedians say. Grins.

Nancy said...

Michelle, The Gatekeeper sounds great! We love books with "boom" around here.

Nancy said...

Kim, it's cold and dreary here, too. I'm off to critique group tonight and am just hoping the rain holds off until we finish. It doesn't feel like rain's coming, but the sky has been overcast and gloomy all day. Uck.

Nancy said...

Anna, fitness kickboxing does not involve weaponry, only impact on heavy bags. I can see the appeal of the knife thing.

Nancy said...

Jeanne, maybe you're right about that being part of the appeal of historicals. Somewhere along the way, the distinction between right and wrong vanished.

I wanted to take that KoD tour but didn't get signed up in time, alas.

jo robertson said...

Interesting post, Michelle, and welcome back to the Lair.

I'm sure someone asked, but can you tell us something about your new release THE GATEKEEPER?

mariska said...

Good Morning Everyone, well it's morning here :)

Michelle, Glad you like my idea. Then i have a little problem here.. I Live in Indonesia :) so again, that's the 'always' main problem when i entered a giveaway contest *grins*

Louisa Cornell said...

Mariska, AGAIN?? Goodness, people will talk!

This is a great post, Michelle and definitely one all authors and aspiring authors should read.

Stealing is stealing, but I have come to realize that there is an entire generation of young people who truly believe that if they want it and someone can provide it, they deserve it. The single most important thing a parent can teach a child is that the word "No" means something. It means you can't because it isn't safe or good for you. It means you can't until you're older. It means you can't because it is illegal and illegal is ILLEGAL - there is no negotiation on that point. And sometimes no means you can't have it until you EARN it. The sense of entitlement I see in people over and over again angers me, saddens me and frightens me. The Constitution says we have the right to life, liberty and the PURSUIT of happiness. In order to pursue something you actually have to get up off your ^&* and PURSUE it! Stealing is NOT pursuing. If you didn't pay for it, you don't deserve it. Period!

I almost caught a cramp in my eyes from rolling them at the comments like "Well I'm poor. I can't afford it." GIVE ME A BREAK !! I am a 50 year old widow who lives in a TRAILER (not even a double-wide!) The plumbing leaks, two of the windows leak, my driveway is impassible. I drive a ten year old car with rust spots on the roof. I work at WAL-MART !! And when I want to read a book by my favorite author I BUY IT! I buy it because I appreciate the time and work that went into it. I buy the actual bound copies because I want that author to get the maximum payback for the entertainment, comfort, laughs, intellectual stimulation and joy she or he gives me. I don't own expensive jewelry, or fancy clothes. I don't go out to eat. I don't smoke. I have once vice - books - and I pay for them in cash that I EARNED because for the work I do for the pay I get I deserve some joy and buying a romance novel gives me that.

Anna Campbell said...

Yay, you, Louisa! You're my hero!!!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Woot, Louisa! And hooo-rah for Walmart for making your book-buying possible. :>

Kate said...

Hear, hear Louisa!
Which reminds me...if you get a chance it would be great if you could let me know if your WalMart is stocking Gatekeeper, I've heard there are copies in some stores but not all..

Louisa Cornell said...

I will definitely check out the book section tomorrow and see if I can find Gatekeeper. I'll let you know!

Louisa Cornell said...

And I think anyone who does this sort of thing should be banned from having any sort of web presence on the internet FOR LIFE!

mariska said...

WooHooo Louisa ! I'm agree with you ! You know that it's more convenient to read from a book (really book) rather than read an e-book !

the smell of paper, humm...:)

flchen1 said...

Amen, Louisa--I nominate you for Queen of the World. Please take over!!

Kate said...
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Michelle Gagnon said...

Thanks Louisa, much appreciated! And now I'm off to brine my turkey...