I wrote this as a message to one of my readers after I saw her posts on a social media site, but I thought I’d just pop it here, too. This is not intended to target her still, but to show other readers how I feel about this subject, which is a really demoralising one for authors to deal with.

I write for a small, indie publisher, and I don’t sell a lot of books, so this is especially something I care about. But I’m sure most writers feel the same.

Dear ________

Thanks for accepting my request, and I’m glad you seem to really enjoy my books. I work very, very hard on them, and I love writing them.

That is why it really breaks my heart that I see you are talking about, and providing illegal download links for my books to people publicly on ________. Did you know that when someone legally buys one of my books, I only get about $2? The rest goes to my publisher to cover production costs.

When you download it illegally I get nothing at all.

I understand that maybe you don’t have the money to buy books, or maybe you don’t know that you are accessing illegal pirate copies of my book. Either way you do know this now.

I can’t stop you doing this. I’m just a person who writes, and who doesn’t have the money or power to hire lawyers to stop these illegal download sites. What I can do is respectfully ask that you reconsider what you are doing, and especially reconsider sharing links publicly on social media.

If you can’t afford my books I’d rather you got in touch with me. I would provide you with a free review copy if it meant you would not do this. Because every time you tell someone on _______ to download my book from these sites, it encourages others to do it. Also in doing so, it’s like you are saying that the effort the writer made in creating it is worth nothing. That makes me really sad.

Please, keep reading and enjoying my books, but the way I see it, I give you stories that you seem to love, I only wish you would give me respect in return. If you ever cannot afford one of my books, please, just get in touch with me. Don’t download it. I will help you.

Warm regards,

Emily O’Beirne