6 Reasons You Shouldn’t Pay for Books. (A Guide for Idiots.)

Paying for books is way too mainstream. And what have writers ever done for you, anyway? Instead of buying that new book from a bookstore, do something that nourishes your inner anarchist and download the pirated version instead!

Here’s why it’s a good idea:

1 – It’s so…rebellious. You know that rush of adrenaline when you don’t have to pay for something? You’re practically a folk hero! Sure, writers tend to make less than minimum wage, but repressing them into poverty is worth it. Why? Because you get to pretend you’re subverting an imaginary authority figure. Just like in a movie! Stick it to The Man, you sexy rebel!

2 – Easier to read. PDF files are obviously much more fun to read than well-designed e-books. Artful layouts are no match for Adobe update windows.

3 – Real time saver. It’s soooo hard to click on the Buy button on Amazon. So hard. You should, instead, spend half an hour looking for a cheap alternative. Saving a few bucks is absolutely worth the time you’ll waste.

4 – Writers don’t even want your money. There are plenty of ways for writers to pay for hospital visits, and lots of them have already set up GoFundMe campaigns for their medical bills. I’m sure any writer would agree that working for free and begging from strangers is a good arrangement for them, anything that keeps you from buying stuff like a normal person.

5 – Libraries simply do not exist. Buildings filled with most every book you’ve heard of? Capable of beaming them straight to your phone or e-reader? It’s a pipe dream! There’s no way such an infrastructure could already exist, bought and paid for and ready to give you endless books for no charge. This isn’t Harry Potter!

6 – Malware. Getting .pdf versions of books has lots of neat features, like when you get free software to go with your purchase. The kind of software that collects data and sends it to Who Knows Where. That’s a service you can’t get from normal book sales.

Conclusion: Buying pirated copies of books clearly has no downside. Bonus: thanks to your cold, anti-establishment stance, you can easily ignore the selfish pleas of the impoverished author who needs to buy heart medicine and groceries rather than having just one or the other. And not only do you get to brag to your friends that you didn’t have to pay all of $1.99 for a book (you are so cool), now a bunch of identity thieves know exactly how clever you are!

Title drop for my anthology! (Drum roll, please…)

I’m always bumping into writers. Conferences, writers groups, random people on the train scribbling out a first draft. (Anyone else notice that almost everyone is working on a book?)

My favorites are the fantasy writers. Rather than being competitive (my foray into the music world showed me that artists can be terrible to each other) the nerds who gather around to talk about our magic systems and dragon names just want to geek out. It’s like finding your tribe.

But there’s something bittersweet about meeting with these kindred spirits. Believe it or not, there are more fantasy authors at a local writing conference than you’ll find on the shelves at Barnes & Noble. There’s not enough room in the mainstream market for all of us, or even a tenth of us.

We’re not (that) bitter. We’re grown ups who know it’s a narrow field with almost no room to break in, and there’s nothing we can do…or is there?

After thinking about all the fantasy writers I know, an idea slammed into my face: Let’s just put our stories together!

Why weren’t we already doing this? I contacted a few writers I know and said that I wanted to make an anthology. No, I’ve never done it before. No, I’m not published, either. Yes, I’m a nobody. But let’s see what happens when we put our heads together.

I don’t know who could ignore such an amazing offer, but the response was overwhelmingly “YES!”

Since this anthology was for fantasy nerds and being written by fantasy nerds, I decided to give my writers free range. I wanted those stories that didn’t get published because they were too creative, too short or too long, too funny, or just too different. Forget trends and market expectations, I told them, and just write.

And the stories are stellar. Since the submissions started rolling in I’ve been overwhelmed, my inbox bursting with those magical tales that transport me and remind me why I started reading fantasy in the first place. Some of the stories are harrowing, some are full of emotion, and some have made me laugh out loud. (I might add, some of these authors you’ve actually heard of.)

My editing team and I had to find a name for this magical collection of stories. How do you explain that you’ve gathered stories that steal you from this world and throw into a place where adventure is right under your feet and anything is possible? It wasn’t easy. But we managed.

Later this year, it’s going to be my pleasure to present to you…THE LOST LEGENDS: TALES OF MYTH AND MAGIC!

I’ll reveal the cover reveal really soon, and you’re gonna love it. But my writers are going to love it more, because we fit everyone’s name on it.