Tuesday, Carrie Harris wrote about a phenomenon I didn't even realize was out there. We've all heard about pirated movies and music, but books are feeling it now too.
There's been debate over the advent of digital books and their effect on the publishing industry for years now. I guess it was inevitable the same type of folks who upload music and movies to pirating sites would start doing the same for books.
Don't think it makes a difference? Make sure to head over to Saundra Mitchell's blog and read what she has to say about her personal experiences with book pirating.
Don't believe the rumors that authors make huge bucks for all their books. Stories like J. K. Rowling and others who hit the big time with block busters right out of the gate are few and far between. And even then, take into consideration how long it takes to get a book from idea to the shelf. It takes years. Yes, years folks, especially for first novels. And all those downloads don't count toward the author's sales numbers, making it less and less likely with each successive one that the author will be able to sell their next book. So, the pirates are gleefully hacking off their peg legs without realizing it.
Imagine pouring your heart and soul into something for a year or five, then to wake up one morning to find people happily stealing from you and stomping all over your career while smiling and waving, all while there's very little you can do to stop them. Kinda makes you sick to your stomach, doesn't it?
What can you do about it though?
First off, don't join in. There are all sorts of alternatives. Being low on funds or not having the book available in your local stores or library right now isn't an excuse. Ms. Mitchell gives directions on how to get your hands on a book in ways which aren't detrimental to your favorite author.
Second, spread the word. Unless the author is making their own work available for free for whatever reason, getting a "free" book isn't free. You're getting it at the expense of the author whose work you want to read and making it less likely you'll ever see anything else of theirs available.