The Anatomy of a Book
Authors pour vast amounts of blood, sweat and tears into creating a finish product. First, there’s planning and outlining. Along with this comes research–granted, for an erotic author, this part can be rewarding in its own way, especially for writers in the BDSM niche.
Next, authors spend days and weeks on end writing their manuscripts, and then rewriting, and then rewriting again. The work then goes to an editor, which invariably leads to more corrections, edits and rewrites. Once there’s a polished product, we have to write blurbs and teasers. Often, there are several, each tailored to the intended target audience. There’s also the matter of cover art–when a reader looks at a book listing, they’ll typically decide within two seconds whether they’re going to one-click it, and many readers indeed judge a book by its cover. On top of that, the author has to have the proper licensing to use the cover art.
Assuming everything goes well, the next step is to upload the book to the vendor. This can lead to further roadblocks to overcome. A book that looked perfect in the word processor can suddenly have formatting issues on an e-reader. A book cover or blurb can get rejected or censored, and then it’s back to the drawing board.
Concurrently, events are being planned. Cover reveals, advance review copies, release day parties and blog tours. All of which have to be precisely coordinated with the book going live on sites such as Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple. One item out of place, or a cover photo showing too much cleavage, and the entire timetable can be thrown into chaos.
The above process can take a matter of weeks for a full-time author. In other cases, a part-time writer is also working a “day job” and finding time to write when possible, which can equate to months or even years from beginning to end. Whether full- or part-time, all of the authors are sacrificing family time and social activities.
When you return a book for a refund–or worse, download it from a pirate outlet–you’re effectively stealing from the author, after all of these countless hours of hard work. In the case of book returns, Amazon allows them, but this doesn’t mean they’re ok. With regard to piracy, many of the pirates avoid prosecution by operating overseas, but again this doesn’t make it right.
The Erotic Authors Guild encourages our reader friends to #BuyItReadItOwnIt. You can check out that hashtag to find firsthand comments from many of our writers, detailing the trials, tribulations and sacrifices endured in the course of our trade.