Yarrrrr! Someone wants me to be pirated.
Hmm. Okay, so I know the ebook market in the UK for SF and Fantasy is miniscule against the physical book. Once you wade through stats and spin on the rise of digital sales (which, are often bumped up massively by mp3 audiobook downloads), you realise how small we’re talking for ebook fiction markets at the moment. Yes, there is a future and a place for them, and sure, you might be a reviewer with dozens of books to blast through on holiday, but let’s not get carried away when we’re talking about the vast majority of the SFF market.
I’ve ranted elsewhere that people love them book things – hey, it’s the perfect cheap portable device!
So what do I think now that I see someone actually wants pirated versions of my book uploaded to the interwebs? Well… meh.
What do any other writers think about having their own work pirated?
Is it any different (in theory) to people lending your physical book to someone else? Many authors make a habit of releasing their work under Creative Commons Licenses, to make sure it’s out there, if anything as a word-of-mouth tool. Other publishers have released free ebooks to promote an author’s backlist. I’m all for that jazz. Speaking solely as me as a writer here, I’m not so fussed about free copies going online. The more people that read me, great. It’s such a tiny percentage of genuine readers, and I can see through a lot of the spin “ZOMG teh end of books!” I ain’t gonna lose sales here. I can see publishers viewing this differently – it’s a tough argument to make, and if they lose a single penny in a competitive market, that shows.
And let’s not even bother comparing it to the music industry – books and music are vastly different entities. If anything, those differences (music has for decades been played on a device, is more passive, is casual, was influenced deeply by single sales so you wouldn’t get the same for chapters, you don’t skip from chapters of one book to another, yadda yadda yadda) to me suggest people are more likely to gloss over this sort of thing.
The only reason I would be pissed off if my book was pirated would be if it was torrented before the release date, but only if people went on to use it as spoilers. “OMG so and so DIES!”
Anyway. I’m off to buy myself an eye patch. Yarr etc.