I figured since it was my day to blog, I'd deal with a question that keeps coming up since Sunday. Why the massive tear down? If you haven't been keeping an eye out, or maybe you have, I don't know... there's been a huge hubbub about pictures. I noticed it first when the famously handsome Jimmy Thomas got upset on Facebook about a photo. What he alleged was someone had used his photo without paying for it and then turned around and created a cover for it. The person was making money on his image without him getting paid for it. At the time I thought it was an interesting arguement. I figured, he is who he is and runs the site he does, so WHY would you NOT pay for it? The guy is literally everywhere.
But I thought about it some more. His business is those pictures. Granted, I'm sure it doesn't take much to slather himself in baby oil to look all sweaty, but that's his livelihood. Same with authors. There's another huge fracas going on about a certain site more or less pirating books. The person in charge of said site claims the lending and free sharing of the books helps starving kids somewhere. Here's the thing and he hasn't adequately explained it to me, how is sharing a free book going to feed a kid? And just as Jimmy Thomas makes his money selling his pictures, authors are trying to make money by selling their books. The prevailing thought is, shame on this site owner for distributing books without the right to do so.
But the shove over the edge was the blog post by Roni Loren. You see, Suit Up Sunday, Saturday Hotties, Tuesday Studs...it's all fine and dandy and the hotness has been shared. But here's the thing: the photographers of those men (and women) make their livelihood off those pictures or being in said pictures. As much as Jimmy Thomas or the authors of the ebooks being pirated want to be paid, so do these photographers. And they should be. Now there was a bunch of chest beating and grousing. The photographers should be honored that their picture is so hot that it HAS to be shared. It's flattery. Right?
If the authors should get paid and not have their work illegally downloaded, just like the musicians shouldn't have their music illegally downloaded, then the photographers and celebrities whose pictures are slathered all over the net should get a cut, too.
"But Brad Pitt makes so much, he won't miss it. It's only one picture."
Maybe, but when over 200 people are sharing that picture, then that's 200 chances for him to be paid. Think about it this way, if you have a book to sell and you sell 3 copies, but 3000 are pirated, then that's a LOT of royalties you've been gypped out of. See the point. Unfortunately for Roni, she paid the hard way. But she was nice enough to send out a warning. If you post those pictures, doesn't matter if you have a disclaimer, doesn't matter if you do take them down... you can get into a lot of trouble. In the terms of the book pirates, they get the take down notices all the time. They take down the work for a day, maybe a week, then WHAMO put them right back up. Why? Because someone requested the book. And it's a tough economy and we all have to help each other. And it doesn't matter if the royalties from that book help you feed your kids. What matters is that the person who is illegally downloading your book can spend their money on food for their kids rather than wasting it on your book.
Skewed logic, don't you think?
So here's the meat of this post: we stopped the Saturday Hotties and the Hump Day pictures. We're replacing them with things that are better - authors who want to show you what they've written, their random displays of hotness through their covers and their videos. Is that too much to ask to allow for the change? Maybe, but that's how it's got to be.
Thank you for enjoying the maleness and the hotness. Trust me, hottie hunting was a lot of fun. But I see the photographers point of view. I don't want my work pirated. so thank you and please keep enjoying the Menagerie. We've got some really cover art hotness coming up and some fabulous authors, too!