I made the decision pretty early last night. Migraine or not, most problems are solvable by thinking, and this one was.
Logic is lovely that way. And my husband is the best sounding board on the planet, because he is brilliant at asking questions that allow me to cut through to what is essential in any situation.
We talked about this for well over an hour, but the whole conversation finally boiled down to this simple question:
What matters to me in this equation?
And what matters to me was the simplest and most obvious thing in the world. I want to be able to guarantee that my readers will not get screwed by not being able to read books they paid for.
The instant I realized that was my issue, solving it became both clear and easy.
If that’s what matters to me, then where’s the debate? I’ll go DRM-FREE, and trust my readers to watch my back when I can’t.
As for the notice, not WARNING that I worked out, I need to explain my background. I was an ER RN before I was a writer. A critical part of my job was explaining to people who were not initially interested in what I was saying that there were things they might do when they got home that would KILL THEM, and that they had to be careful not to do these things. Mixing medications and alcohol was always a biggie, but there were a lot of others.
I was good at this. I did it by being blunt, by being as honest as I could about the risks and consequences, and by not softening what I was saying to spare their feelings, because their lives were more important than their feelings.
Sound at all like the warning I wrote out explaining copyright? It was written with the same intent—but I tend to go with “this is how you save your own life” as my default information-sharing technique, even in situations where I later realize the issue is not life-or-death. (In the ER and medicine in general, you MUST start with a baseline assumption that that issues are life or death, and assess down from there, or you end up with a whole lotta dead people in your ER who were “just complaining about indigestion.” Once you’ve learned to operate that way, and to understand at a bone-deep level WHY you must operate that way, it’s pretty hard to turn off.)
I got some really good suggestions from readers, however, and am going to end up with a notice like this (I haven’t settled on a final wording yet) at the end of each book instead.
Thank you for reading, and I’m delighted you found it worth finishing.
Writing is how I feed my family and keep a roof over my head. If you received a copy of this book you have not paid for, please take the time to purchase a copy from: [pending link on HowToThinkSideways.com]
Your payment helps me continue to write new books.
So that’s where I am with this, and why.