I’ve referred to this before, but now I’m going to devote an entire entry to the subject.
Book pirating continues unabated. I’ve seen several sites lately that offer hundreds, even thousands of books for free download, and in every case, they make it sound like it is their right to give our books away for nothing. I recognize the names of most of the authors listed.
What does this mean to the person who wrote them? ZERO profit from those downloads. If they were released through a publisher, ZERO profit for that business, meaning they are that much less able to put out new titles.
Dear assholes who steal books from me and others: Do you have any idea how much time and effort goes into creating that book?
Writing it takes weeks, months, even years. We put our social lives on hold. Sometimes we shortchange our partners. We give up more than you can imagine to write that story. This is time the author will never get back. At best, even if no one pirates these titles, we will never get paid as much as we should for the time we put into it.
Then there’s the support staff that helps assure a quality product is released: editors, proofreaders, cover artists, the bookkeepers who track sales, the people who promote the books…. They have bills to pay. They have families to support. They do not work out of the goodness of their hearts. They can’t afford to.
When you steal a book from someone, you are taking money out of our pockets. You are lessening our ability to pay our bills. You are making sure we won’t be rewarded for all the hard work we did. Some may quit in disgust or sadness, and those are books you will never read.
Can’t you empathize? Put yourself in the author’s shoes? Or are you so self-centered and selfish you can’t see beyond “Oooh, free books!”
Writers don’t expect to make the same kind of money hourly or salaried workers get, but we do expect to get paid when our work sells. If you steal it–and you are stealing it, dear hearts–we get nothing. NOTHING.
So the next time you run across a torrent site, do everyone a favor and keep moving. Decide not to steal that day. Everyone will appreciate it.
Final note: The authorities are starting to get serious about this at last. Chances are excellent your IP address is being recorded and you will soon get a visit from someone with a warrant in one hand and a shoulder holster hiding under a suit coat.
If you steal? You deserve what you get.