Have you seen some of the personal websites advertising ebooks for dirt cheap? Some offering them for a dollar or less? I’m not talking about the sites who are licensed to do this, I am talking about people who buy these books themselves or have others so it and then make hundreds if not thousands of copies of them and then sell them. These people feel that they can do this because they bought the original copy, but they are very wrong. What they are doing is illegal. They are stealing from the author and the publisher. In some cases tens of thousands of copies of some titles are given away for a dollar each or even free.
I have been asked why do I care. “Don’t you get an advance to write your books?” NOPE! As authors of ebooks, we get paid based on sales of our books. You put in months and months into writing, editing and polishing up the final product only to have people steal it from you in the end. For me just starting out, it’s frustrating to say the least. Yes I work full time as a veterinarian now, but eventually I would like to write full time. How can I be expected to make a living at it and pay my bills if someone is giving away my work for free?
Remember the whole uproar over Napster? How the recording artists were up in arms that their work was being shared without compensation? I remember people asking what those musicians were so upset about. They couldn’t understand why a few downloads would make any dent in their profits. Well, it’s not just a few downloads. It’s millions of them all over the world and that all adds up. Think about what you do for a living. How would you feel at the end of each work day if everything you accomplished was credited to someone else? You would feel ripped off right? Well so do the writers who find their works on these pirate sites. Not only do we have to spend our valuable time looking for our works on these sites, we have to send them repeated take down notices. If they are overseas they don’t give a shit what we ask. They will keep doing it.
So it’s up to us as the consumers to stop searching for these sites. Stop frequenting these sites. If there isn’t a demand, they would be out of business. If you go through the legal sites and through the authors websites, you can get great material and support your favorite writers and publishers. The more support they have, the more books can be offered. Think about it!