I’m going to post a link, and I really hope that everyone clicks on it and reads Maggie Stiefvater’s excellent post about how Internet book piracy has a real and serious impact on the books that authors are able to write.

This is true — I get between two and three emails a week from Google notifications letting me know that one of my book titles has popped up online. When I look at these emails, they are never letting me know that someone posted a review on their blog, or mentioned one of the books in some other fashion. No, it’s always letting me know the same thing — a free .pdf of my book is available for download on one of the pirating websites. Usually, I pass this along to my publisher, and hopefully they will make them take it down, but there’s no stopping it.

As someone who wasn’t able to finish writing a book series because the publisher saw low sales numbers, piracy is a really big deal to me, and I hope that everyone reads Maggie’s post and really thinks about it.

Thank you — and especially thank you to everyone who bought my books in stores, or bought e-copies of my books, or borrowed my book from a library. You guys made Book 4 happen.


About M. L. Brennan

Author of the Generation V urban fantasy series, published by Roc Books. Not your usual vampires, kitsune shapeshifters with attitude, Doctor Who jokes, and underemployment. GENERATION V and its sequel, IRON NIGHT, available wherever books are sold. Third installment, TAINTED BLOOD, to be published 11/14.

Posted on October 31, 2017, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. I was so sorry and irritated to learn that piracy has ended your Generation V series. I enjoyed it greatly and had been waiting for the next book on Fort and his family. I enjoyed your writing style and Fort’s story. I can only hope that you might be able to continue the series sometime in the future. I don’t know what the solution to piracy is. We have too many people that just always want something for nothing and don’t care how hard someone else worked on or for it. It is disheartening to learn how many authors have been effected by piracy. It would be a sad world where no new books were written or movies made because others wanted to see it or read it free. I am again sorry for you, me and so many others that enjoyed Generation V. Tina

  2. I just finished book 4 (I bought them all on Amazon!).
    I really enjoyed your series and I’d be thrilled if there were a book 5 and 6. I hope it can still happen.

    • I purchased all four also in paperback. I keep hoping that M. L. Brennan will continue the series so I can buy them as well. Maybe new books can go on Amazon in a serial version and maybe that will help thwart pirates. There is no easy solution to this awful problem. Especially when authors cannot get the money they DESERVE for THEIR creative efforts. If you enjoyed the series and did not pay for it, you KILLED FORTITUDE. Happy??????

      • Hey Tina — Thanks so much for supporting the series, and for your very kind words. Ebook piracy is a major problem for all writers, and sadly there doesn’t seem to be an easy solution. The more that people understand that piracy is not a victimless crime, and that this idea of “I support the writers, but not those greedy publishers” is hurting WRITERS, the more I hope that people can change behaviors.

        I see a lot of people who justify ebook piracy by saying that they can’t afford to buy the books — well, if you can’t afford to buy the books, then work on getting them through your local library. Libraries are a fantastic resource, and because they purchase their copies, they are also supporting the authors. Libraries can get physical books, and also more and more they are working on ebook lending systems (which I know is very important for people who are facing disability and access issues).

        • There is no easy solution to piracy. Too many people truly don’t realize the harm in saving a few dollars. It is such a tremendous harm to authors and fans and a blow to civilization as well. Who knows what might have been written that now won’t be. So much reading enjoyment and enrichment will just not happen. It is so disheartening. Also, thank you for responding to my comment. I do follow you on Twitter and Facebook. You are always interesting in your comments and tweets and I enjoy reading them. Tina

          • Hi Tina!

            Sorry about the delay, and thanks so much for your thoughts on this issue. It’s a tricky situation, and I think one of the biggest parts of the problem is expectations about pricing. I wonder sometimes if the publishing industry right now is standing where the music industry was fifteen years ago with the rise of Napster.

            Anyway, thanks so much for your post, and for following these comments and my Twitter! Have a great new year!


  3. Hello, have you tried putting your books on kindle unlimited? Maybe people will see how good your books are.

    • Hi Alex!

      Sorry bout the delay in this response! Any increase in (paid) distribution for the series is always a good thing, but this one is actually in the publisher’s hands, not mine. If you are interested in seeing the GenV books (or any other books and series that you love! there are very few authors that couldn’t use a boost) on any other type of platform or version (audio, for example), then the best way to make that happen is to email and tweet at the publisher. The publishers actually do pay really close attention to what people ask them for, and if they start seeing more of a demand for a particular book or author in audio or on kindle unlimited, then they are much more likely to make that happen.

      Thanks so much, and have a great new year!


  4. I’m not sure how the rights work or if you’re at liberty to say, but have you considered a crowd -sourced alternative for publishing/writing costs? Is that something that you’d entertain at all?

    Essentially either a patreon or kickstarter where fans can “donate” money for you to write the next books in the Generation V series. If using the kickstarter route, you could set some goal and you’d only write/publish the book if the goal is met. Likewise, your fans are automatically refunded the money if the goal is not met and the book is not published. So it’s a win-win.

    • Oops, I meant crowd-funded

    • Hi AF! Sorry about the delay in this reply!

      This is definitely one of those questions that I really need to write a detailed blog post for one of these days, because it’s absolutely relevant and legitimate to ask. So, while I’m definitely making a note to write up the long answer one of these days, here’s the short one:

      In terms of rights and legalities, Roc holds the rights to the first four books in the series. If I wanted to go down the crowd-sourcing path, then I would ask my editor to Roc if they were interested in purchasing books five and six — now, I already know that they aren’t at this point, but I would need that specifically in writing. If/when they said no, then I would be completely at my liberty to do whatever I wanted — whether that was shopping the books to small publishers or doing crowd-sourcing. The only reason I’d have to check with them is that my contract gives them the right to “first-refusal” on my next work. (it’s exactly what it sounds like — they get to be the first ones to say no, or they get a first crack to make me an offer)

      I actually was involved in three kickstarter campaigns through the now-defunct Ragnorak Publications and Outlander Publications — while I did eventually get paid for the short stories that I contributed to the three anthologies (MECH: AGE OF STEEL, HATH NO FURY, and KAIJU RISING II: REIGN OF MONSTERS, it was definitely an eye-opening experience. I pretty much need a whole post to break this down, but crowd-funding comes down to a few issues for me: money, distribution, future possibilities, and time. I think kickstarter is a fantastic venue for a lot of people, and I’ve seen them do very well (and…. also incredibly poorly), but I just don’t think that it works well for my particular situation (which, again, I need to do a detailed post about). However, I wouldn’t rule out doing kickstarter to do an anthology with friends, or if I was interested in e-publishing a novella. For the GenV novels, though, I probably would not.

      Patreon is very cool and is really catching on for a lot of the writers I know (Kameron Hurley does it probably the best of writers I’ve seen, btw), but I think it dovetails best with writers who are short-story machines and can produce a lot of content. I tend to focus a lot on my current projects, and I’m a little crunched for time as it is just to keep working on that.

      However, those are both great suggestions, AF, and I will be putting together blog posts on both topics at some point in the near future.

      Thanks for the comment, and have a great new year!


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