Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Book Piracy and Just Plain Cheap!



"Jesus has returned to earth. But it will cost you five bucks to see Him."
"No thanks, I'm pinching my pennies."




Maybe it doesn't seem logical, but there's a school of thought amongst some authors and publishers that books robbed off the internet, or what's better known as "pirating," doesn't hurt individual book sales one single bit. This seems illogical since those doing the pirating won't have to buy the actual product. It's been the same for the music industry. Pirated music doesn't need to be bought, so the artist suffers. Or does he?

I can't tell you how many people ask me for a "free book" or who tell me that their brother gave them their copy, who got his from a friend, who got theirs from a used bookstore, and when they're done with it, they're going to pass it on to their Aunt Trudy who will hand it over to the Salvation Army bin and then ask for a receipt for her taxes. Cheap ass Aunt Trudy.

My point?

Is this not a form of piracy? Only difference between stealing books or music off the internet and people passing paperback or hardcover books around without having to buy them, is that the latter group commits their crime right out in the open. In fact, nothing irks me more than being approached in a crowded bar and some obnoxious blond will walk up to me and shout "Where's my book?" Like I somehow promised her a freebie. What I always wanna say in response to one of these cheapskates is, "Ok, the novel is 20 bucks. Let's see, you keep the books at a construction company for 15 bucks an hour. How about you do an hour and a quarter's worth of accounting for me and I'll trade you a signed copy of Moonlight Falls for it. Deal?" Inevitably, I'll receive a kind of screwy upturned brow look, that screams, "Well aren't we all high and mighty?" Well, I write for a living, lady!

What will happen the next week? I'll see the same dame in the same bar, and once again she'll scream, "Where's my book?" Only this time, she'll tell me she's started on her own novel about her second marriage to some guy who didn't know he was gay until he got in bed with her. Or maybe he wished himself gay. "You're agent will love it. What's her email address?"

JA Konrath has yet another interesting experiment going in which he is allowing people to pirate his novels. He's going to prove the piracy won't affect sales. I wonder if he ever willingly gives away hard copies to people who refuse to pay for them?

Stay tuned....and anyone interested in pre-ordering The Remains...click Here!