Pirates and eBooks ARGHH!

One cool feature Blogger has is Stats, allowing me to see where traffic comes from, how many times a post (or page) has been viewed in any given amount of time, and what search led the visitor to my site. The last is usually the most interesting. I check all this stuff every day myself. It’s important to me to know what is going on with my site. The reason I bring this up is one particular search topic…

slap shot by lily harlem, for free

Now this really burns me up. One, any type of pirating is just plain wrong. Unless the creator of the work specifically makes it available to consumers without charge or gives it away as a contest prize (no you can’t share that eBook), it is pirating if you download a supposedly free copy. It’s stealing. Lily Harlem is a great author, as are others I have featured here along with scores of authors I have not.  Her books are well worth the price as is any book. Slap Shot has been out SEVEN days as of today. SEVEN and someone out there wants to steal her work? 

Two, eBooks take just as much work to write as a print book. The story is the same regardless of venue. We spend hours looking for cover art suggestions to send to the publisher (those of us who are allowed that freedom), months writing and revising often while juggling jobs, family obligations, and health issues. Many rounds of edits, just to be absolutely certain we missed no errors. Is a digital download of your favorite song less worthy than the CD in your car stereo? No. It isn’t. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say to me,”When will you get a real book published?” Ebooks are real books, with a real story, and you can really read it just like a print book. But that’s another post altogether.

I know the economy is awful. Luxuries like buying a new book or music are hard won. I know that. I’m no stranger to stacks of bills constantly weighing on my thoughts, and it is why I strive to give you the best book I can. I want you to get the very best book I can provide at that time. 

Please don’t pirate other people’s hard work. 

Consider this scenario…A guy walks up to a young mother headed into the grocery store. Her whole month’s wages are in her purse. He catches her attention, tells her he admires her work and walk’s off with her purse while she is distracted. The woman is frozen in place. She can’t stop him only yell for him to bring it back. Of course he doesn’t. She goes home feeling defeated and empty handed. 

See the similarity yet? 

As authors we are very limited in what we can do to stop pirates. We can send take down notices, contact our publishers and agents, and eventually file a lawsuit if we have too, but otherwise we are just as helpless as that poor woman on the street. Our first defense against pirates is you, our readers. Refuse to download works for free, unless permission is given by the author or publisher as a special promotion. Don’t share eBooks by forwarding email, uploading to a share site, etc.  Not only does it hurt the author, publisher, agent and the economy, it is against federal copyright law.

It’s amazing what chain of events can be set in motion when just one person does the right thing. Be that person, always.