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Scott de Montevideo!

Don’t pirate books, just don’t

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1 hour ago, Darth Richard II said:

No shit. 

 

Who the fuck pirates books anyway. Shit, there was that one YA author that pretty much proved pirating hurts sales.

Oh, people keep trying to justify it.  

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

No shit. 

 

Who the fuck pirates books anyway. Shit, there was that one YA author that pretty much proved pirating hurts sales.

Interesting, do you have a link? I would want read it. (Is this proved like Neil Gaiman "proves" the opposite here? )

 

Not proud of it, but these days, the only ebooks I get are those on sale at 0,99c. Amazing what you can get, though I doubt the authors can live with that.

Pirating sites... yeah, they are no Robin Hood. Volunteer translators for stuff that nobody cared to import in your country, on the other hand, are ok by me (looking at a lot of chinese, japanese, korean production)

Edited by Errant Bard

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I can’t recall the name, but her sales were way down, a d they thought it might be piracy related, so for the ebook of what was supposed to be her last book they just repeated the first three chapters over and over. Turns out sales for the physical book skyrocketed and when they released the legit ebook those skyrocketed too. Pretty much saved the serious. When I’m more awake I’ll find it.

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33 minutes ago, Errant Bard said:

Interesting, do you have a link? I would want read it. (Is this proved like Neil Gaiman "proves" the opposite here? )

I think Gaiman's experience is specific to very good authors. I don't generally download ebooks from dodgy sites, but I've encountered several authors (including Gaiman, Daniel Abraham and John Scalzi) via promotions such as an ebook packaged together with a different ebook (i.e. you buy the first one and get the second one as a surprise free gift after you've finished the first) or a Humble Bundle (where you name your price for a bunch of different ebooks) and then went on to buy most of the books they've written or at least the whole series to which the promotional book belongs to. The same is true of libraries: there are several authors (e.g. Roger Zelazny and GRRM) whose books I first read at a library and then, when I was older, decided that I wanted to have my own copy.

However... this does not work if the author is mediocre or bad or not compatible with most people's taste. There was a bunch of other authors using the same promotions and their work was not compelling enough for me to go look for more of it.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Errant Bard said:

Interesting, do you have a link? I would want read it. (Is this proved like Neil Gaiman "proves" the opposite here? )

I remember having read some other thread on this site about piracy hurting book sales. I haven't found the topic though. However, I'm pretty sure this is the story that it was referring to. 

Edited by Ser Forlorn Hope

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15 minutes ago, Altherion said:

I think Gaiman's experience is specific to very good authors. I don't generally download ebooks from dodgy sites, but I've encountered several authors (including Gaiman, Daniel Abraham and John Scalzi) via promotions such as an ebook packaged together with a different ebook (i.e. you buy the first one and get the second one as a surprise free gift after you've finished the first) or a Humble Bundle (where you name your price for a bunch of different ebooks) and then went on to buy most of the books they've written or at least the whole series to which the promotional book belongs to. The same is true of libraries: there are several authors (e.g. Roger Zelazny and GRRM) whose books I first read at a library and then, when I was older, decided that I wanted to have my own copy.

However... this does not work if the author is mediocre or bad or not compatible with most people's taste. There was a bunch of other authors using the same promotions and their work was not compelling enough for me to go look for more of it.

If you are right, then, it means the argument is that you should not pirate because if you do you will only give money to authors you like, so? Huh, I'm ambivalent about pirating, if so.

This is congruent with what Harlan Ellison answered an aspiring author, when asked how to sell books: "Don't write shit.", I guess.

 

On a more general note, on topic, it feels a bit contradictory to appeal to "pirates" responsibility to not pirate books but deny them the responsibility of knowing they would not have bought the book anyway. If they can hear you, they would use legal options if available anyway.

Statistically and from experience with movies/series (Seanan McGuire is a bit disingenuous when comparing with music and its replayability property when movies are closer to books), there will always be illegal copies, but it's not by appealing to responsibility that stuff works, it's by appealing to laziness, eg Netflix.

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Yet another author who blames piracy for poor sales. Maybe piracy hurts, maybe not. It's not really the issue, though. There must be a lot of bootlegged Harry Potter copies out there. Still sold a lot of copies. The truth is that very few authors get rich from sales. Always has been that way. Even GRR Martin's career failed after the Armaggeddon Rag. No piracy to blame there. 

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Legalities aside, if you like what someone writes sufficiently that you want to read it, if they ask you not to pirate their material it's only polite not to do so. The argument that you're doing them a favor by getting their work "out there" doesn't wash -- you are not their marketing team, you are not their publisher, you are not them. If they want to "miss out" on all the "exposure" that pirated books get them, that's absolutely up to them. Height of rudeness to insist otherwise about material you didn't create and don't own republication rights to.

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Tried to remember if I ever pirated a book, and came up with finding Sanderson's Words of Radiance online and reading it during an extra slow week at work. I did already buy the English version and was reading it at the time while at home and Serbian version a year before. Since I don't think I'd buy two copies I don't think it hurt sales one bit.

Definitely feel buying the book and reading it is a much better experience than reading it off some screen.

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3 hours ago, Loge said:

Yet another author who blames piracy for poor sales. Maybe piracy hurts, maybe not. It's not really the issue, though. There must be a lot of bootlegged Harry Potter copies out there. Still sold a lot of copies. The truth is that very few authors get rich from sales. Always has been that way. Even GRR Martin's career failed after the Armaggeddon Rag. No piracy to blame there. 

The point is not that it is harming massively popular authors who’s books have sold millions of copies and have been transformed in to movies and other media.  The point is that it damages smaller authors who are working to build an audience by creating a means by which the person pirating can obtain a copy for free (and keep it) and never have to pay for it.  That harms, in particular, authors who are just starting out.  

We have authors who are board members who suffer from piracy.

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14 minutes ago, Scott de Montevideo! said:

The point is not that it is harming massively popular authors who’s books have sold millions of copies and have been transformed in to movies and other media.  The point is that it damages smaller authors who are working to build an audience by creating a means by which the person pirating can obtain a copy for free (and keep it) and never have to pay for it.  That harms, in particular, authors who are just starting out.  

We have authors who are board members who suffer from piracy.

So what you are saying is that nobody new will be able to become a massively popular author anymore because they will have starved to death before, because unknown, new, possibly self published authors do not sell, and the reason those authors without audience don't sell is of course piracy?

 

Probably unvoluntary, but it's interesting to see you use "trying to build an audience" as something at odds with the books being widely distributed.

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Posted (edited)

There needs to be a balance between building audiences and actually making a living. The important thing is that it should remain up to the author  and those they are collaborating with to figure out what that balance should be. No one else has a right to make that decision for them. 

People like Neil Gaiman, Cory Doctorow or, I don't know, John Scalzi, have a lot of different revenue streams at this point. They can give some things away for free that other people cannot. Maybe it would be better for those people to try and shape their careers around being personalities, essayists, tech evangelists, public speakers, TV producers, etc., but for some people their talent is writing and not any of that other stuff. 

Of course, they all started somewhere. Scalzi's first book was initially serialized on his blog, IIRC, and he got a publishing deal that way. But that was his choice. It worked out for him. It won't work out for everyone. What remains important is that the creator is the person who decides how they get their work to their readers. I see no great argument for being rude to people whose art you appreciate. If you don't appreciate it enough to pay what they ask, then move on to something else you're willing to pay for rather than perpetuating incivility.

 

Edited by Switzeran

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Yeah, I see, "it should be", "don't steal"... sentences like that have worked like a charm for thousands of years, so of course indignation will work for this once again.

 

No need to integrate the very basis of what makes distribution so much easier with digital technologies into any business plan.

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Errant Bard said:

No need to integrate the very basis of what makes distribution so much easier with digital technologies into any business plan.

Business plans are for businesses. It remains absolutely the case that the creator and those they hire or collaborate with to publish their works are the ones who are responsible for the business plan. If they want to publish a book in a limited run of 10 stone tablets, that's up to them. If they want to publish a book by releasing it to the internet for free, that's also up to them. Not to you, not to me, not to anyone else.

The insistence otherwise is certainly rude at the very least. Why be rude to a creator whose work you like simply because they don't distribute a work in your preferred way? I simply do not understand it.

Edited by Switzeran

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21 minutes ago, Errant Bard said:

So what you are saying is that nobody new will be able to become a massively popular author anymore because they will have starved to death before, because unknown, new, possibly self published authors do not sell, and the reason those authors without audience don't sell is of course piracy?

 

Probably unvoluntary, but it's interesting to see you use "trying to build an audience" as something at odds with the books being widely distributed.

So you go with the “pay them with exposure” means of paying artists and musicians for their work, as opposed to actual currency?  Try that as currency the next time you go out to dinner and see how that works.

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