*takes deep breath, lets it out through nose*
So yesterday I launched a rant about a certain site that was promoting illegal downloads of Empress of Storms. Pretty much everyone who read it and left a comment on social media sympathized with me, reassured me that a lot of pirate sites exist to get credit card information and thus karma would visit those who didn’t know how to use a library, and generally tried to make me feel better.
I appreciate them all. And I should admit that part of my rage was brought on by the fact that Ramón was laid off on October 31 and we are both scrambling for work and trying to figure out how we’ll be paying the December mortgage (Christmas isn’t even an option this year. Paying bills comes first). But the karma bit stuck in my head. See, I used to have a blog waaaaay back in 2001, long before WordPress or Blogger or even LiveJournal were on the scene. Had to hand-code each entry, change the previous entry so that it linked to the new one, and create/update the archive pages. You kids don’t know how lucky you are, with your social media crosslinking and your SEO tags. Now get off my lawn.
Anyhoo, since I knew that big block of uninterrupted text tended to turn readers off I had a habit of trolling the net for appropriate images, downloading them, and using them in my blog entries. I did not buy these. Back then, you didn’t even think twice about it. You found a picture on the net and you just used it. There was no question about reimbursing the artist who took the photograph or created the artwork. If it was on the net, it was free for use, QED.
So, if I am brutally honest with myself this may be karma doing a little bitchslapping of its own for using creative material that I didn’t pay for. And now that my blood pressure has settled, I do have to admit that having 612 downloads and 41 four- and five-star reviews is actually kind of flattering. At least 612 people liked my story enough to grab it from a torrent site and read it. 41 of them liked it enough to leave good reviews.
(I still wish they’d left those reviews on Amazon, but whatever.)
Seriously, though, if you can’t afford a copy and will frigging explode if you can’t read about Matthias and Danaë, don’t go through a torrent site. Email me and I will send you a copy for free. All I ask is that you leave a honest review somewhere, ideally Amazon but I’ll take Goodreads/B&N/iBooks/whatever. That way, karma blesses us both.
I’m still running that 25% off sale on Empress of Storms at All Romance eBooks, so if you haven’t picked up a copy yet you should go and do it now! For everyone who has already purchased a copy, thank you SO much. Your interest in my first foray into high fantasy erotic romance is truly appreciated.
Now that the holidays are winding down, however, could I ask you a huge favor? I really, really, REALLY need reviews for the book, ideally on Amazon but I won’t say no to Goodreads, B&N, or any other online retailers. I’ve reached the point where my social media self-promo is getting a little redundant and I don’t want to annoy people with repeated ads. I’ve purchased advertising on various sites, but right now reviews are desperately needed to promote the book, bump it up in Amazon rankings and pull in new sales.
Also, as I’ve mentioned before if you’re stony broke and just can’t afford an ebook right now, contact me with your preferred ebook format and I’ll send you a copy. All I ask is that you leave an honest review for me — and yeah, if you read it and absolutely hate it, then go ahead and say that. I know Empress isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, and I’d rather have someone saying, “Yeah, sorry, this bites” than someone blowing smoke up my ass.
Okay, back to work!