Since 2005, I’ve had a sizable problem with piracy. Many of my books are stolen and added to download lists by people ignoring or deliberately violating my copyrights. This has occurred on fiction and nonfiction books and even articles.
I’ve been an author for a long time, but I am not a wealthy person. I rely on my writing income, as do many other authors who are also enduring their works being stolen. Some say that pirated copies wouldn’t be purchased anyway. That it doesn’t impact sales. I agree many who steal copies wouldn’t buy the copies, but I also know from experience that when the net is flooded with pirated copies, it has impacted my sales in a bad way.
Two days ago, I ran a Google search for the previous 24 hours. Two full pages of pirated works of mine came up. Not just in one place, but in multiple places. There were nearly ten pages of them. I stopped looking at them after two pages. At least five of my works—not five copies, five works–had been repeatedly violated.
This morning, I ran a Google search for the previous 24 hours. Here we go again. Six new pages of thefts. Articles, nonfiction books, and fiction books. I’m being hit on all fronts.
And so I’m faced with a choice. If I can’t earn what I need on my work, why continue to produce it for thieves to benefit from stealing it? And so I find myself deliberating. Do I stop publishing in digital? Or just stop writing and publishing?
I’m debating. When I reach a decision, I’ll share it.
In the interim, I want to inform people that if you download a digital copy of anything of mine that isn’t through an established, reputable bookseller or a public library, it’s stolen.
And if you download stolen copies, you’re committing a crime. You’re also contributing to putting authors out of business. I am not unique. My situation isn’t unique. This is happening to authors all over the place. Piracy nearly destroyed the music industry and now it’s hard at work against books.
I sincerely doubt that these are your goals, but the facts are the facts and these are the net results.