This dicussion was started on She Writes, a group that I'm proud to be a part of. The issue of piracy has troubled me for a long time. Well, ever since I've been published. So, I thought I would share my response to the dicussion here. Feel free to add your own thoughts or answer the same questions I have below.
To sum it up briefly, it hurts. I believe I could be making a living solely from my writing at this moment if my books weren't ripped off so much. I know that everyone who steals a copy wouldn't necessarily purchase one, but some of them would and that would still account for thousands of dollars lost. I've had this discussion many times and it's getting more and more difficult. Especially, when I have to continue seeking out day jobs that I hate. Not to mention work in general is hard to find where I'm located. My financial situation is pretty grim at the moment. To say that I am upset at my work being ripped off, doesn't even come close.
1.) Are you an e-published author, or are all of your books print books?
Most of my books are available in both print and ebook formats.
2.) If a book buyer puts his or her paid-for copy of your e-book on one of the big pirate "sharing" sites, do you believe that is "theft"?
Yes, I do. If they send it to a couple of friends through email, great. I'm glad they liked it enough to share it with their friends. Putting it up where hundreds of people can download it for free is NOT the same thing. It's stealing, period.
3.) If a book buyer scans your print book into pdf files, and shares these on a "sharing" site, do you consider that theft?
Absolutely. I believe most people, if they're honest would feel the same.
4.) Do you consider these "sharing" sites to be good for your book sales on future books?
Not at all. Once in a while there is a rare person who will like your work so much that they purchase some of your backlist. But those people are rare. I beileve that occasionally offering something from free is great for sales. Ocassionally, like free reads or free copies. If you are trying to make a living, you just can't afford for ALL of your books to be free.
5.) Do you agree with the pirates that because we authors are all millionaires, we should not mind giving away a "few" books to those less fortunate?
This makes me see red. I'm such a "millionaire" that I'm filing for bankruptcy. Thank you very much.
I don't mean to be such a killjoy, but that's how I really feel about piracy. If I was a millionaire, trust me, it'd be a different story. But, I'm not. I'm not even "well off." I need the money to live. Okay, that's all I can say and remain polite.