Sunday, July 28, 2019

Project Avalon: When Stealing is Stealing

Well, talk about getting involved in all sorts of things that divert my attention and waste gobs of time. The first and easiest was another copyright infringement case. Nick Redfern alerted me, and others, to a website that held a large number of books about paranormal topics available for free download. The list of writers who
Nick Redfern who is responsible for the removal
of the free ebooks
were ripped off by this site is long. In this day and age, I understand why people do it, but they just don’t seem to think about the affects this has on the writers, publishers and even the bookstores.

Here’s the deal. Most writers, me included, do not receive huge advances for our books (unless, of course you happen to be Stephen King or J. K. Rowling). When you look at the cover price of a book, the person who receives the smallest percentage of the money is the writer. The bookstores, booksellers, take fifty to sixty percent of the cover price.

Second, most don’t realize the time and effort that goes into writing a non-fiction book, and by that, I meant those books that pay attention to the truth rather than making it all up and claiming it is the truth. There were telephone calls (which, in days past, were not free). There were travel expense such as airfare, gas, car rental, hotels, food, and a dozen other expenses. The upshot is that we weren’t sitting around with our computer on our lap and googling those things that interested us. Before we had any money in hand, we’d already spent thousands of dollars in the research because the Internet did not exist.

And third, what most people don’t know, is that the standard advance for a book today is basically the same as it was in the 1970s. You try spending a year writing a book, wait as the advance money dribbles in, and maintain a normal existence on 1970 wages.

Oh, I’m not complaining, just providing the facts of life. The point is I picked this job. I knew what it was going to be like, but there were just some stories that I wanted to tell, and if the money wasn’t all that great, well, I’d made that choice. The real pay off was getting the story.

Today, we have to compete with all those self-published books that pop up on Amazon, on bad reviews from people who don’t like our opinions and Internet sites that put the work on line for free. How many people who would have paid for a book didn’t bother to buy it because they could download it for free.

I mention all this because the writers rarely have any sort of a triumph. This week, we had one. The site that had put up all those books, dozens and dozens on line, is gone. In a note published to Facebook:

A message from the staff at Project Avalon:

" The Avalon Staff unanimously decided to remove all the ebooks from the site, whatever their age or provenance. There are no ebooks there now at all. Everything's gone. "

-- Project Avalon Staff
A small victory for the writers who toil at the far end of the publishing industry, who struggle to make a living (who are not guaranteed a fifteen dollar an hour wage), and who enjoy trying to solve this UFO mystery. At least they won’t be ripped off by this site.


Seal Of Lion said...

Do you think any of your fiction, especially "Seeds of War", will ever be available in ebook form? I've literally worn out copies of your books.

Nick Redfern said...

It's my goal to destroy as many of these people as possible.

KRandle said...

I'm with you on this Nick. I don't really understand how these people think.

Seal Of Lion said...

On USENET there are forums where you can download thousands of ebooks. Fiction, non-fiction, reference, etc.

Nick Redfern said...

I know exactly how they think: they think it's totally fine to rip authors off, and they assume no-one will do anything about it. Now, they no different...

RedTornado2008 said...

That is why I buy the book and will never download one. Call me old fashioned, but the only way to own a book is to own a true book.

George Kanakaris said...

That is why David Paulides has no ebooks from his Missing 411 series.

Anonymous said...

Hi Colonel Randle, forgive me for my professionalism if you will but I served in the military as well and I guess it's just habit.

What I want to know is why do you and others continue to write these books knowing fool well you're going in the hole before you start...? Does not make any sense to me.

OzinOr said...

I'm reminded of what Professor Alan Kent once said, "Your attitude toward copyright changes once you obtain one." True, brother, true.

Anonymous said...

Copyright is one thing and should be enforced..But do not whine about writing a book and not making any money for it...When you know what you're getting into.

KRandle said...

Phil -

Not whining. Pointed out that some of the research and books would have been done because of the challenge of learning something new and telling an interesting story.

Said the same thing. I knew what was going to happen when I began the journey, but I do get tired of hearing about how I am just in it for the money. What money?

And I'm tired of people thinking that they can rip it off because I'm well compensate for the work. Just trying to make a point that money is not the issue... stealing the work is the issue.

Anonymous said...

I will take some time to think about what you said and repost here later on it.