An Open Letter to “tennie75”

I have a question I’m pondering.

My history as a writer is this: I had three releases earlier in the year in close succession: March, May, and June. I had things contracted, scheduled, and planned for the next few months. Instead, it wasn’t until the end of October that something else came out.

Why? I explained my self-imposed break already, and the reality is that aside from 3K on Still in Love with You, until I wrote Somebody to Love this month I didn’t write a single word. Not a one. Even my blog was silent.

Somebody to Love is a self release. It was advertised here on my blog (which feeds to Amazon and GoodReads), on Twitter, and on my Facebook page, and that’s it–and these were all places where I said that the piracy of Wild Horses hit me hard enough that I had to take an extended break from writing and I wasn’t sure if I’d even write Sympathy for the Devil. So when this story was requested at a piracy forum the very same day it released, I know it had to have been someone who actually follows me in some capacity. I know you are or probably will read this in some capacity.

So please explain this to me, “tennie75”: Do you not want me to write?

Did you want to read Somebody to Love so badly that you thought the cost of another four months going by without me writing justified it?

Did you think your request was invisible to me? Did you think I wouldn’t notice? Did you think I wouldn’t immediately close the document I was working on, with no desire to go back to it?

As I said, this book was a self-release. This means I pay for editing. I pay for stock photos. I pay for the software that allowed me to cleanly convert it into various formats. All of that money came out of pocket. I am paid on a per-purchase basis and I’m not even remotely close to making that money back–more people have now illegally downloaded it than purchased it. I spent the past several days working all hours on this story, setting aside family time, setting aside OTHER paid work, in the hopes of delivering a story I was really proud of to readers and that I’d make my money back (and then some), justifying the time I spent on it. I thought, well, if it’s a self-release and only advertised here, surely it’ll be awhile before people steal it. After all, it’s just my fans paying attention here, right?

Nothing is free. The books you steal have a cost, and that is going to come in one of two ways: 1. Lower quality from the authors you take from as they attempt to make up for lost income by producing a lot, or 2. no books at all from the authors who can’t justify writing any longer.

I was seriously hoping to get at least two more releases out by the end of the year, thinking that extra income would help out with bills at home, because right now I’m trying to choose between things like keeping my house warm for the winter with the rising electricity costs and paying for medication for my eldest, as we can’t afford both.

Please, “tennie75”, if the book isn’t worth the $2.99 it’s available for, is it worth driving me to quit writing altogether?



Taking a Break

Well…it’s been an interesting week, darlings.

I started out SO excited. Wild Horses was *finally* coming out. This book took about three months for me to write–I had to revise things a lot of times, as a novel (even a short one) is an entirely different beast from a novella. You might know it was originally scheduled for a June 5 release but I got a two week extension because it wasn’t ready in time. I really stressed over this book but, in the end, I was proud of it. I love the characters. I had a lot of fun writing the sex scenes. And I was really hoping it was one readers would love too, since they’ve been asking for longer works by me.

The day after Wild Horse was released, it was requested at a piracy forum (already pirating one of my novellas).

I won’t get into complaining about this or explaining why it’s wrong. Lots of others have before me and I’m nowhere near as eloquent.

The problem is that I politely wrote to this forum, explaining that I’m a new author, this is a new release not selling many copies, and could they please have some empthay for me and take it down–I’m trying to provide for my family here. Instead, one of the admins bought the book a few hours later just to upload it.

It hits like a punch in the gut, the wind knocked out of you. This book was so hard to write. And I know readers frequently complain they want longer books by me but…but I’m looking at my plans for the next Stirling Falls book, Sympathy for the Devil, and wondering whether or not it’ll be worth it. Hopefully, a few royalty statements from now will show it *is* worth it despite the piracy and maybe Sympathy can be out by the end of the year. I hope so–I really want to share Tash’s book with you.

The next Circle of Friends novella, Still In Love with You, was due out next month, but I think I’m going to grudgingly ask for another extension and take a bit of a break right now. I’ve had one release after another and this past week hit me really hard. I’m not ashamed to say I cried when they uploaded my new book–it hurt. Hopefully Kashayla and AJ’s story will release in August instead and I’ll get back in the groove of things again.

If you bought any of my books, I want to personally thank you so much. I wish more readers were like you and I really hope you enjoy my stories. <3