Recently, I discovered that more of my books have been pirated. Book piracy is the absolute bane of my existence. It devalues an author's work. It takes time out of our writing schedules to address this with whatever website has the book listed. To varying degrees of success, I might add. Many times, a book is taken down only to be listed again on another site. On several of these sites, people even requested one of my titles, especially Misled. The book is available online without even having to download it. It dampens my creativity, especially for the Death Dwellers. True, I write about these characters because I love them. But it's also a nice thought that I may recoup some of the money I've put into releasing the novel.
It's been argued that piracy helps to get a writer's work out there, and that authors are elitist for not wanting their books listed on free sites. Let's be real for a moment. If someone is willing to pirate one book--request a listing for that book--it's safe to say they will do the same for another book. This doesn't help an author's sales; it hurts them. As for the elitism bit, I take issue with that. Authors strive to release their best product. We hire editors, graphic designers, and formatters because we value and appreciate our readers and take pride in our work. It doesn't make us elitist to want to break even in our artistic ventures. It doesn't make us elitist that we wish to protect the precious paragraphs we spend hours creating.
Unfortunately, this isn't going to stop. I'm only one voice in a sea of pirates. If the music and movie industries have failed to end piracy, how can I expect to? There are laws in place: piracy IS theft. But these laws haven't had much success putting an end to this faceless crime. Internet pirates are all but impossible to locate.The saddest part is if these people would contact me and request a copy of my book, I'd more than likely give it to them.
What's the difference, you ask? Free is free, huh?
Yes, but fair is fair. It should be an author's right to choose where they list--and who they want to gift--their intellectual property to.