I usually don’t talk about e-book piracy; it’s something I’m realistic enough to realize will happen. As an author of e-books, I know eventually my book or books will be pirated. But, I wanted to put the reality of what it does to authors before you, so maybe you’d think twice before clicking that link.
My book sells for $2.99 of that I make just over a dollar on every sale. So if say 50 people download the book those 50 people have reached into my wallet and removed a $50. What if it was a hundred? A thousand? Now, ask yourself would I reach in a stranger’s pocket and take a fifty? Of course you wouldn’t. Recently a fellow author found his book on a pirate site – there were 150 downloads. That’s 150 books or in his case $300.00 that was stolen from him.
Unlike the print houses that give the authors advances, an e-book author’s total income is from sales of the book. E-book authors don’t have massive Public Relations departments behind them, they have to pay all marketing cost themselves. Unlike print houses, e-books don’t sit on shelves of bookstores across the country – well some do the lucky ones that went to print.
Before you click that download link at a torrent site or megaupload or sendspace ask yourself one question. If I was in a bookstore, would I just drop this book in my purse and walk out of the store? Because that is exactly what you are doing when you download a book without buying it.
I know of one e-book author that is disabled and on social security disability, her book sales are how she makes ends meet. Every time I hear of one of her books being pirated it saddens me, because I know that the folks downloading it don’t realize the ramifications to her life.
Do I think you are evil if you pirate a book? Of course not. I think you are unaware of the consequences to your favorite author. If they can’t make what they need writing, they’ll stop writing. So I ask again, before you click that download button – consider the money you are pulling out of the author’s wallet.