People pirating e-books?
Yup, it’s an issue.
You wouldn’t think so, but it is.
A lot of writers get upset. They think it’s a lost sale. It isn’t, though, because frankly, someone who goes to a torrent site for a book wasn’t going to buy it, anyway. It’s just a safer way to shoplift, and shoplifters of books aren’t book buyers.
I don’t know if anyone has pirated my books. I haven’t checked, because life is short, and I don’t really want to wade through the garbage, and those torrent sites are riddled with viruses, anyway. It’s easier to look at it as a compliment, and, if the shoplifter actually reads and likes my book, maybe they’ll mention it to their friends, and some of them might be more honest, have more money or just be less internet savvy and they could actually buy a copy.
But I do understand why writers, who have invested huge chunks of time into the writing process (not to mention the editing process afterwards, which is always pretty much akin to self-immolation with hot sauce on top) and poured their blackened hearts and mortgaged souls into their work – I completely sympathize with them. It’s galling. It’s insulting. It hurts.
But there’s virtually (hah!) nothing we can do to prevent it. If every movie released this year instantly turns up on a torrent site five minutes after it is released in theatres, an impoverished indie author can hardly expect to wage a more successful battle here.
In the meantime, there’s this: it’s cribbed (and slightly altered) from an interview with Assaph Mehr, author of the detective fantasy “Murder in-Absentia”. It’s going into the backmatter of all my works from here on in.
If you downloaded this book without purchase from a pirating site, please read it with the author’s compliments. If you enjoy it, please consider purchasing a legal copy to support the author in writing further books. If you can’t afford to buy it, please leave a review on Smashwords or Goodreads – it really helps!
I’m guessing that it won’t do much in the short-term, but maybe, just maybe, the thought that you aren’t screaming at them, that you’ve accepted that they are going to pirate a copy of anything they want no matter what, that perhaps they owe you just a little smidgen back, they will recommend the book to their friends. Maybe they will actually review it. Maybe, someday, they’ll try paying for one of your books.
In the meantime, you should totally go buy Mehr’s book. Because, if nothing else, Assaph at least knows how to write a nice piece of passive-aggressive guilt trip.
You can find it here:
And a WordPress blog here:
Felix the Fox Mysteries
You had me snorting out loud at that “passive-aggressive guilt trip”. My Jewish grandma would be proud of me 🙂
(and ps. Felix the Fox is my Protagonist, which somehow ended up being my WordPress handle. You know me better as Assaph 😉
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My dad had a real good handle on guilt as a teaching aid, so I know exactly what you mean!