Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Is Book Piracy Bad for Authors?


It seems our digital world is the perfect place for pirates to ply their trade—copy someone’s book and offer it free to others.

Book Piracy

Image Courtesy of Bartek Ambrozik ~ http://www.freeimages.com/profile/ambrozjo

I’m not talking about stealing a book then selling it as one’s own—or, plagiarizing—just the increasingly popular piratical sharing of books.

It appears it’s nearly impossible to get any solid figures on how much piracy is going on; but, all indications point toward it being huge…

Should an author care if lots of people are reading their book for free?

Back in 2011, I wrote three posts about piracy:

Ebook Piracy ~ Not A Bad Thing??

Free Books, Pirated Books, & Our Digital Age…

Do You Steal Books? ~and~ Do Authors Care?

I’ll share a quote I used in that first post from eBookAnoid:

“…it is worth considering whether the rise of the pirate sites is actually all bad for the sales of ebooks…. And it seems that perhaps the picture is not as black and white as is generally thought. In a post on the CBC website, this is gone into at some depth, and it would appear that instead of decreasing legal sales of ebooks, the appearance of any particular ebook on a pirate website can  actually increase the legal sales of that particular ebook – in other words, the illegal copies seem to act as a sort of advertisement for the legal ones…”

Obviously, if you’re concerned about piracy, I encourage you to go read those three posts…

But, I’ll finish this one with a video of Neil Gaiman, multiple award-winning author, giving his view on folks stealing lending-out his books…


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