Tuesday, December 16, 2008

'Sharing' Books

I was reading a fellow author's blog and they were talking about file sharing sites that share, among other illegal copyrighted material, books.

There are people out there who will purchase and download an ebook and then go to some torrent or other kind of file sharing place and upload the book for others to download. For free. Meaning the author sees not a penny!

What's the difference between this and say buying a paper back book and giving it to a friend. That 'one' book that your giving has been paid for.

In the case of ebooks, they are downloaded, copy after copy with no payment besides the ONE payment paid for the first copy that was uploaded.

This author mentioned that she'd seen that her ebook had been downloaded three hundred times! That's 299 times that she was not paid for the book she wrote!

For some reason, people seem to think that writers are rich and can afford to have their books pirated. Hands up any of you writers who are rich off your book sales.

They see books that cost between 10-30 dollars for hardcovers or up to 6 dollars for ebooks. They hear about Nora Roberts signing multi million dollar books deals and think she can afford to have her books 'shared'. Guess what, a print book may cost you 10-30 dollars but the author may only see about 6% of that. Six. So yes Nora isn't pinching pennies but that's because she sells a LOT of books. That's the point. She has to SELL them. That means people have to PAY for them.

And you know what? Yeah, books are more expensive now than they were in the past and everyone's feeling the crunch of the economy but that's not even the point. The point is, it's wrong to steal.

For some reason, they thing because it's written and out there for the public, that it belongs to the public. No. The ONE physical copy is your property, but the content is the property of the author. That means you, the buyer, can own it, and you the buyer can RESELL that one copy on ebay or sites like that but you CANNOT put it up for the public to download for free.

It's wrong and guess what, you may love that author's books but that author won't be able to WRITE ANYMORE BOOKS if she isn't making any money from them because asshats are putting their books on filesharing sites to be downloaded illegally and publishers consider an author's salability before offering them a new contract.

Let me see if I can put this another way. Stealing from an author is like this, let's say you've just found out that you've just lost your job because your boss found someone who's willing to do it for free.

Does that bring it closer to you? Do you get it now?

So stop stealing from authors or guess what, that'll be the end of your favorite authors cause their publishers won't see them making any money and drop them.

So stop it.

And if you see any books up on those filesharing sites, report them.

We all love books, now let's make sure we can keep writers selling so we can continue to enjoy them.


Adele Dubois said...

Thank you for posting this important message, Nancy! Piracy has become a serious problem that threatens the entire book industy.

Best--Adele Dubois

Anonymous said...

It is a mistake to assume that the three hundred people would have bought the book if they couldn't download for free. I am not for one second in support of piracy.

I think as an industry we need to find out the reasons why people are downloading, so that we can look at stopping them. Reporting sites while good is effectively a waste of time, as soon as you shut down one site, two more spring up in its place. We need to educate readers, inform them and make darn sure that illegal downloading is their last option not their first. A lot could be down by the publishing houses to get a standard format that allows portability, that doesn't tie you to one software company for instance. Some people want flexibility. There is always going to be a percentage of people who download. You will never stop it. The music industry by sticking their heads in the mud for years, made the problem of piracy much more mainstream than it needed to be.


Free Blogger Templates by Isnaini Dot Com . Powered by Blogger and PDF Ebooks