Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Scamming and Piracy

I don't know if readers think that we authors make a boatload of money on our books, but let me assure you, the vast majority of us don't. We get in the neighborhood of 6% royalties of all books sold. When your book costs about $5.00, we're talking 30 cents a book. You have to sell a heck of a lot of books just to make your advance. And these are books that writers spend months writing, sacrificing clean houses, hot meals, family times, going out with friends, taking vacations, sleeping more than five or six hours a night, and goodness knows what else to make their deadlines and deliver stories that people want to read.

All we ask is that people buy these books new. Buy at discounted prices if you must, but please, if the book is available new, buy it new. Otherwise, we won't see a penny for our work. I know that some books can't be found new, and I'm okay with your buying them used in that situation. Or checking them out from the library. But if you want the writers you love to keep writing the books you love, save up a few bucks and buy new, please. It's what makes writing feasible for us, financially. We do write because we love to write, but it's also a business.

Anyway, this post is supposed to be about scamming and piracy. Specifically, this website:

It purports to be a site where you can download top movies, books, music, etc. for a membership fee. That automatically makes it piracy—downloading copyrighted material for free that you would otherwise have to pay for. It's like stealing from someone, in that the person or persons involved in creating that book, movie, or music is being denied royalty payments on those items.

But more than that, it seems to be a scam site, because it claims to have books that haven't even been written yet. So you pay your money to sign up with the site to download books that don't exist. I suspect it's the same for the movies and music they claim to have. So here's a warning. If you're going to ignore the requests of authors to buy their books new rather than buying used and denying them royalties, don't do it at this site unless you want to be robbed yourself.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Best Christmas Movies?

Here's the Chicago Tribune's selection of the top 25. Do you concur?

I agree with #1, but beyond that, I'd probably rank them differently.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Gifts for the Weird

What does it say about me that I would love to get almost any one of the gifts listed here?

I particularly like the knife earrings, the emergency car kit, the bacon adhesive bandages and the barb wire plates.

And while we're on the Lemondrop site, this is also pretty amusing.

BTW, I blogged today on the Intrigue Author's blog. Want to win one of my backlist? Go comment. You're automatically entered.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Pennies Screaming for Mercy

My mom would tell me that I come by my thrifty nature honest, since my father would pinch a penny until it bled. I think I come by it honestly, too—because I pay the bills in this household, and I'm more aware perhaps than anyone else just how much things cost and how much money we have to spend.

So naturally, when I can get something for free? I'm there!

Thanks to Discover card's Rewards program, where you earn money back the more you spend, we had $100 in rewards to redeem. (And yeah, we won't go into how much we had to spend to get $100 cash back, but veterinarian bills were involved).

I chose (in retrospect, probably not the best choice, because they really aren't the cheapest place around) and The $100 actually translated to $115, thanks to the extra cash back from those vendors. Anyway, here's what I bought:

2 pairs of earwire earrings
2 books (Dean Koontz, Dick Francis)
1 body spray for my sister
1 X-Files series compilation DVD (Covering mythology eps from seasons 8 and 9)
1 Typing game software CD (for the nieces to learn)
Bliss hand cream
Schweppes Pink Grapefruit lip balm
Sephora Apple Pomegranate gift set
Plus three free samples - Donna Karan body mist lotion, DKNY Be Delicious and Red Delicious body lotion combo, and a Lab Series daily face wash and moisturizing lotion combo.

Total out of pocket expense (which includes shipping): $10.38.

I also bought my sister a pair of jeans which were marked way off. Total cost there was around $11, including shipping.

I love freebies.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

December Intrigue Blog Blitz!

To quote my friend and fellow Intrigue author Julie Miller:

It's that time of year again, folks… time for the Intrigue Authors 2nd Annual Holiday Blog Blitz!

That's right. All through the month of December, the Intrigue Authors will be blogging and giving away books every day. Many of your favorite Intrigue Authors will be stopping by to talk about the holidays, books, upcoming projects, research, writing and more. And each day that author will be choosing a winner from among the readers who post a question or comment to their blog.

The author will post the winner's name in their comment section that night or perhaps the next day. And just in case your holiday season is busy time of year for you (whose isn't?), yours truly will keep a list of winners to post periodically, just in case you missed your name the first time around. I'll also post a complete list after the first of the year in case you're really busy--or just curious to see how many of you terrific, loyal readers we have taking part in the blog blitz. If your name is selected as the winner, all you have to do is email the author--email addresses are available at our websites if you can't pull it off of the Intrigue Authors site--with your name and snail mail address, and we'll get your book sent to you.

Comment as often as you like. Join us every day in December if you can. We'll try to spread the joy so that as many of you as possible get the chance to win. And even if your name isn't selected on a given day, we'll be having lots of fun just hanging out and chatting together.

If you love Intrigue. If you love romantic suspense. If you love books and romance, the Intrigue Authors site is the place to be all through December. Please join us for the blog blitz.

Have a safe and happy holiday season!

So drop by all month long! Meet some of your favorite Intrigue authors, ask us questions about writing for Intrigue, or about your favorite characters and books, or just general questions about writing in general.