Sharing my book after publication is called lending. Sharing my book prior to publication is called stealing

I wish I was writing a “Happy Holiday” post, but there is something that’s been bothering me, and I need to get it off my chest.

It has come to my attention, a few times, that my book has been shared with others, by those I trusted to read it. I know the reason for this isn’t malicious, it comes from excitement. But let me assure you, that sharing my book (at any point prior to publication), and without my consent, is essentially stealing. After publication, sharing a book is fine. Loaning it to a friend, signing it out at a library, or lending the ebook on Kindle are all acceptable. It’s a finished copy available to the public, so I have no problem with loaning books. But doing any of these things with my rough drafts, or ARCs (advance reader copy), is NOT okay with me.

I have shared The Darkness of Light with others throughout the writing process. Some have read first drafts, while others have current advance reader copies. Not one of the drafts I’ve shared is the absolute final copy. The first drafts differ greatly from the ARCs I have now, and the ARCs given out still have some changes to be made. I don’t want these copies shared around like a youtube video. This book has taken me a long time to write. I have spent countless hours working on it. This book is not free, so why is it okay for someone to share it around like it’s some short-story I wrote in an hour?

By sharing my novel without my consent, you are also taking money right out of my pocket. Authors make money by SELLING BOOKS! If those I’ve trusted with my work share it with someone, who then might share it with someone else…and so on…they are taking potential sales right out from under me.

And it’s not just me that’s affected by this. What about all the hard work put in by all the other people who’ve worked on this book: the editors, formatters, proofreaders, and cover designer? Their work does not deserve to be passed around like a cat meme.

For any artist, writer, etc…there is nothing worse than knowing your work is being seen–without your consent– before it’s complete. It really is a terrible feeling.

Whether you have an ebook or print version of my novel, I feel compelled to remind everyone that it was given to you, by me, for you ALONE! Please DO NOT share it with anyone.

I hate to say it, but this has given me a bit of anxiety about sharing my next novel before it’s completely ready. I think I’ll have to keep it to myself longer, and be very selective about who reads it.

3 responses to “Sharing my book after publication is called lending. Sharing my book prior to publication is called stealing”

  1. It’s always best to share your feelings and not keep them bitterly inside. This way everyone understands what’s expected. All the best to you.

  2. This is why I’m often wary of even describing book ideas with people. I’m sorry to hear you’re having issues with this. I wish there was some great advice I could give. Unfortunately, all I can say is that I understand.

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