Ah, okay. Breathes deeply. I told myself I wouldn't do this post. Deep breath. I've already done a post on piracy before. No need to go there. Deep... screw it. Not working.
There are certain triggers in the publishing world that will send most authors through the roof. One of those things is piracy. And for those who know me, know I have a huge issue with piracy. I have lost count of how many websites my books have showed up on for illegal downloads.
Yesterday, one of those well known sites had friend requested me on Facebook, which prompted a WTF from me and a status update expressing my 'what kind of WTFery is this?' This led to a conversation between me and said website, and while it didn't start off in a positive light, it ended with them showing how they were taking steps to stop e piracy on their website.
Shared Term Papers has blocked e books from being loaded onto their website, which is a huge step in rectifying piracy. So don't break out the pitch forks. They are doing the right thing and should be applauded.
Obviously STP has been working on fixing the piracy on their website for awhile. Looking through the thread, they have some pretty awesome things planned for the future, just no more ILLEGAL BOOKS. But when they posted on their forum that they were stopping the ability to load ebooks, some members went ape poo poo. Reading over the comments, I was SHOCKED by the anger and the feelings of betrayal concerning how they would no longer have access to pirated books.
They. Felt. Betrayed.
Loki does not approve.
What kind of WTFery is this? People who illegally download books feel like they should have been given the courtesy of knowing ahead of time that they could do longer do this from that website? WTF. How about the common courtesy to the author, agents, editors, publishing houses, publicists, and everyone else who worked their ass off to write that book you paid nothing to read and then in turn uploaded so others can read it for free? How about that?
To use a phrase I saw on Smart Bitches website the other day, what kind of WTFBBQ is this?
The reasons these betrayed and angry members have given to why pirating books or 'sharing literature' is okay? Head meets desk. No. No. No. Let me dispel some pesky myths about pirating that are obviously created to make one feel better about doing it.
1. Only 'angry authors' complain about their pirated books.
Uh, yes. Authors are angry when their book is being given away for free when they busted their tail to write something you want to read. It would be the same thing as me walking into your store and demanded the meal you just made for me to be free JUST BECAUSE I CAN. We have a reason to be angry. That's our work. I don't think I need to give more of an explanation. So, yes. Damn straight, we are angry.
2. Pirating doesn't really hurt authors/victimless crime.
Oh, come on. Pirating does hurt. If people can get something for free, they are going to go for it instead of paying for it. Not all, but a lot. There's this argument that says people who pirate won't buy books anyway. To me, that doesn't matter. If you don't want to pay for it, don't steal it. I *hope* when you see a shirt in the window of a store that you don't want to pay for it, you don't just steal it, right?
And it's definitely not a victimless crime. Pirating effects everyone: authors, agents, editors, pubs, and every person who touched that book while in production. Not only that, but it effects fans of books. So many authors over the last years have not been able to sell more books in their series due to lack luster sales while their books are being pirated and downloaded tens of thousands of time. Statistics show that 75% of people who pirate, won't buy. The only 25% would if the book wasn't easily available for download.
An average book can get downloaded 10,000 times or more through various websites. 25% of the is 2500. Might not seem like a lot of sales, but you never know what the amount will be that can tip you over into a 'successful earn out'.
3. Not everyone can afford books/ebooks
Oddly, my most pirated books are the ones that are like $3.99 and $5.99. I think that's just excuse, because most people don't steal something they can't afford. Only criminals do. And if you can't afford $2.99 or even $9.99, then how can you afford the internet connection you are using to download books off of or membership to sites that provide virus free materia? Riddle me that, Batman.
Some people feel that 'authors should recognize that people can't afford to read books and be okay with it.' So, let me get this right, I should be okay with people not paying for something that I worked extremely hard on and hope to make money off so that I can write more books that I should just give away? As much as I would love to do that and I'm so many other authors would too, we need to make money to keep writing books.
PS. I actually do have free books. People pirate them too. Crazy world.
And saying that an author is limiting their readership by not supporting piracy is more than a huge slap in the face to the author. It's like a kick upside the head. There are so many things I want in this world that I can't afford or have access to. Guess what. I don't get it.
4. Book not available in my country
US sales help determine foreign sales at times, did you know that? A book that is heavily pirated may not have the sales to warrant foreign publication. Congrats. It's a vicious circle. Some of these people don't say they can't afford books. It's just not available.
Guess what. There's this website called Book Depository. They ship anywhere in the world for free and most of the time their books are discounted. Amazon also has their e books in many countries. You don't need a kindle and we know you have a computer obviously. You can get the book if you really want to. Logic Fail.
5. Piracy has spread readership.
Seriously? Jumps off the cliff on that note
6. I only pirate first books from unknown authors because I shouldn't have to pay for a book if I don't know if I am going to like book/author/whatevs.
Wow. Just wow. Is this mentality applied to other things is life? Like when you go out to eat. Do you request a sampler of food before you purchase?
7. It's sad that authors what to limit "literature sharing'
What is sad that you are putting the blame back on the victims of piracy, which is the author and their camp. What is sad is that using a nice phrase like "literature sharing' for piracy somehow lessens the illegal activity. What is sad is that you feel entitled to read books other pay for them.
8. Stopping piracy will cause authors to lose more money.
This is the biggest logic fail out there. According to people who pirate and statistics, they won't buy the book anyways, right? So they never were going to buy this book in the first place. How is that if pirating wasn't available then it would stop them from going out and buying more books from authors they've discovered through pirating? Makes no sense right? And let's be honest. If you pirated the first book, you're going to pirate all the books.
9. Someone already bought the book. They are just sharing it. What's wrong with that.
Uh. Simple math? One person bought e book and then shared it to 1,000 people WHO DIDN'T PAY FOR IT. It would be like buying one movie ticket but bringing your family of eight into the theater.
10. Authors are always complaining about how they don't make money off of e books anyway, so it can't be effecting them that much.
Authors make money off of e books. Maybe not enough in some instances, but they do make money. So just to show you some sites I visited that had my books for downloads.
Disclaimer: I don't think I can share actual % amount,but hey, if you do the math you can figure it out.
Disclaimer: The time frame is from when the link has been available on various sites and from systems that monitor the books.
Daimon: 395 (DUDE, THIS BOOK IS FREE. LE SIGH)
Half-Blood ($3.99) 1, 109 downloads. What would I have made off that? $1327
Pure ($5.99) 1,585 downloads. What would I have made off that? $2848
Obsidian ($5.99) 2,267 downloads. What would I have made off it? $5431
Tempting the Best Man ($2.99) 978 downloads. What would I have made off it? $1169
I didn't look at Shadows, because at that point I wanted to punch someone.
So the grand total there is $10, 775.
So let's say only 25% of them were actual sale since 75% doesn't buy anyway.
That's $2693 dollars. Hey, that's not pocket change.
Also keep in mind, agents are paid out of that. And this was just what I could find today. This does not include the hundreds of times the books have been taken down (download counters restart each time its removed).
This whole situation really shines the light on how people feel about piracy and the entitlement that some have. It is sad. Sad that people who illegally download books would try to cast blame on the authors for being 'mean' or 'angry' or read the riot act to a website who is simply following the law. Sad that they think by not being able to illegally read an authors book is somehow punishing the author. Sad that these people are just going to go to one of the other million websites out there and keep downloading books. Sad that so many of these people will just end up getting viruses on their computers. (Okay. That part isn't sad, but mostly called karma) Sad that these people are outraged over the fact they won't have easy access to illegal material.
And the most sad thing of all? These people will keep pirating until more serious and harsher laws are imposed.
So, in closing, no matter how you package piracy or why you feel it's okay for you to do it, it is wrong. It is illegal. And it's not fair to the authors, those who work hard to get that book published, or the people who pay for the book.
Kudos to you, Share Term Papers! You may be catching a lot of flack right now, but at least you won't get smacked upside the head with a giant law suit in the future.
Got to look on the bright side, kids.
And before everyone runs off, I'm asking that readers of this blog do NOT go and start yelling at people on threads or anything like that. Doing so doesn't really help the cause.
Okay. Now I'm going back to finish this book.